Use of alternative protein sources for fishmeal replacement in the diet of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Part II: effects of supplementation with methionine or taurine on growth, feed utilization, and health. Academic Article uri icon


  • Fishmeal has long been a staple protein feedstuff for fish, but its global shortage and high price have prompted its replacement with alternative sustainable sources. In this experiment involving largemouth bass (a carnivorous fish), a new mixture of feedstuffs (45% poultry byproduct meal, 30% soybean meal, 15% blood meal, and 10% krill shrimp meal) was added to low (14.5%) fishmeal diets along with 0.0%, 0.5% taurine, 0.5% methionine, or 0.5% taurine plus 0.5% methionine (dry matter basis). The positive control diet [65.3% fishmeal (46% crude protein on dry matter basis)] and all low-fishmeal diets contained 40% true protein and 10% lipids. There were 3 tanks per treatment group (20 fish/tank). Fish with the mean initial body weight of 16.6 g were fed to satiety twice daily. Compared with the unsupplemented low-fishmeal group, supplementing either 0.5% methionine or 0.5% methionine plus 0.5% taurine to the low-fishmeal diet improved (P < 0.05) the growth, feed utilization, retention of dietary protein and lipids, and health of largemouth bass, reduced (P < 0.05) the occurrence of black skin syndrome from ~ 40 to ~ 10%. Histological sections of tissues from the fish with black skin syndrome showed retina degeneration, liver damage, and enteritis in the intestine. Compared with methionine supplementation, supplementing 0.5% taurine alone to the low-fishmeal diet did not affect the growth or feed efficiency of fish and had less beneficial effects (P < 0.05) on ameliorating the black skin syndrome. These results indicated that: (a) the basal low-fishmeal diet was inadequate in methionine or taurine; and (b) dietary supplementation with methionine was an effective method to improve the growth performance, feed efficiency, and health of largemouth bass. Further studies are warranted to understand the pathogenesis of the black skin syndrome in largemouth bass.

published proceedings

  • Amino Acids

author list (cited authors)

  • Li, X., Zheng, S., Cheng, K., Ma, X., & Wu, G.

citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors

  • Li, Xinyu||Zheng, Shixuan||Cheng, Kaimin||Ma, Xuekun||Wu, Guoyao

publication date

  • January 2021