Evaluation of genetically-improved (glandless) and genetically-modified low-gossypol cottonseed meal as alternative protein sources in the diet of juvenile southern flounder Paralichthys lethostigma reared in a recirculating aquaculture system Academic Article uri icon


  • 2018 Cottonseed meal (CSM) proteins from genetically-improved (glandless) low-gossypol seed (GI-CSM, 52.1% crude protein, CP), genetically-modified low-gossypol seed (GMO-CSM, 56.0% CP) and from an untreated regular (glanded) seed (R-CSM 49.9% CP) were evaluated to replace fish meal (FM) protein (59.5% CP) in juvenile southern flounder Paralichthys lethostigma diets. Eight isonitrogenous (45% CP) and isolipidic (16% crude lipid, CL) diets were formulated. A control diet (0% CSM) contained 40% fishmeal (FM) and other practical protein sources. Six diets replaced 50, 75 and 100% FM protein with GI-CSM or GMO-CSM protein. One diet replaced 100% FM protein by R-CSM protein. Fifteen fish (mean = 1.81 g) were stocked in each of twenty-four 75-L tanks (N = 3 per treatment) and were fed the treatment diets for eight weeks. Final percent weight gain was not significantly (P > 0.05) different in fish fed the GI- and GMO- and R-CSM protein diets (8981405%) compared with the control diet (0% CSM) (1242%), but percent weight gain was greater (P < 0.05) in fish fed the 50% GI-CSM diet (1405%) versus the 100% GI-CSM diet (898%). Feed conversion ratio was excellent for all treatments (FCR = 0.701.00), with no treatment differences (P < 0.05). Protein efficiency ratios (PER) were also not significantly different among the treatments (2.263.24), although the lowest value was for 100% R-CSM diets. After 8 weeks of feeding, survival of fish ranged from 80 to 91%, with no treatment differences. Apparent protein digestibility of diets was significantly higher for the fish fed 75% and 100% GI-CSM and 100% GMO-CSM protein diets (83.5, 83.5 and 86.5%, respectively) compared with the control diet (79.4%). After 8 weeks, no significant (P > 0.05) interactive effects between CSM sources and FM replacement levels on final weight, FCR and PER were observed. Arginine levels in the diets increased as CSM was increased, consistent with the high arginine concentrations found in CSM. Liver gossypol was only detectable in fish fed the 100% R-CSM diet (37 g/g). Replacing up to 75% FM protein by GI- or GMO-CSM protein did not affect on whole body omega-3 PUFAs, or liver gossypol. The results suggest that up to 75% of fish meal protein may be replaced by GI- or GMO-CSM protein in the diet of juvenile flounder without adverse effects on growth performance and body composition. Statement of relevance: Cottonseed meal (CSM) is a potentially cost-effective alternative plant protein source for use in aquafeeds. The results suggest that a 75% of fishmeal protein could be replaced by genetically-improved and genetically modified (GMO) low gossypol based cottonseed flour protein in the diet of southern flounder. These ultra-low gossypol cottonseed flour proteins could be inexpensive protein sources for the commercial culture of southern flounder and other finfish species.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Alam, M. S., Watanabe, W. O., Carroll, P. M., Gabel, J. E., Corum, M. A., Seaton, P., ... Dowd, M. K.

citation count

  • 22

complete list of authors

  • Alam, MS||Watanabe, WO||Carroll, PM||Gabel, JE||Corum, MA||Seaton, P||Wedegaertner, TC||Rathore, KS||Dowd, MK

publication date

  • March 2018