Dietary vitamin C requirement of red drum Sciaenops ocellatus
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A feeding trial was conducted to determine the minimum dietary vitamin C requirement of juvenile red drum and characterize signs of vitamin C deficiency. Semipurified diets containing 400 g crude protein kg-1 from lyophilized red drum muscle and crystalline amino acids were used in the feeding trial. The basal diet without supplemental vitamin C contained 6 mg vitamin C kg-1 and was fed for a 1-week conditioning period. Red drum, initially averaging 3.6 g each, were fed diets supplemented with 0, 10, 20, 30, 45, 60, 75, or 150 mg vitamin C kg-1 as ascorbate polyphosphate for a period of 10 weeks. Fish fed the basal diet began to exhibit overt signs of vitamin C deficiency, including reduced weight gain, lordosis, scoliosis and loss of equilibrium after 8 weeks. Total ascorbate was undetectable in liver of fish fed the basal diet while liver ascorbate levels in fish fed the other diets generally reflected dietary supplementation. Regression analysis of weight gain data using the broken-line model resulted in a minimum vitamin C requirement (SE) of 15 3 mg kg-1 diet.