Effects of dietary protein and lipid levels on the growth performance, feed utilization, and liver histology of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides). Academic Article uri icon


  • The reported requirements of largemouth bass (LMB, which is native to North America) for dietary protein and lipids varied substantially among previous studies, and this fish fed current formulated diets exhibit poor growth performance and pale liver syndrome. Because amino acids and lipids are known to affect hepatic metabolism and function in mammals, it is imperative to understand the impacts of these dietary macronutrients on the growth and liver morphology of LMB. In this study, we designed six isocaloric diets to determine the effects of different dietary crude protein (CP; 40%, 45%, and 50%; dry matter basis) and lipid levels (7.5% and 10%; dry matter basis) on fat and glycogen deposits, as well as hepatosis in LMB. There were four tanks (12 fish per tank, an average initial weight of 18.4 g/fish) per dietary treatment group and the trial lasted for 8 weeks. Fish were fed to apparent satiation three times daily. Results indicated that LMB fed the 45% or 50% CP diet grew faster (P < 0.05), had less (P < 0.05) glycogen in the liver and smaller (P < 0.05) hepatocyte sizes than fish fed the 40% CP diet, but there was no difference in weight gain or feed efficiency between the 45% and 50% CP diets. The hepatic lipid content did not differ between LMB fed the 40% and 45% CP diets, and the values for these two groups were 29% lower (P < 0.05) than those for LMB fed the 50% CP diet. Compared with the 40% CP group, LMB fed the 45% or 50% CP diet had 8-12% lower content of total minerals, phosphorus, and calcium in the body. Increasing the dietary lipid level from 7.5 to 10% enhanced the weight gains (+ 15%) and feed efficiency (+ 22%), as well as the retention of dietary protein (+ 18%), energy (+ 25%), and phosphorus (+ 7.6%) in the body. No fatty liver occurred in any group of LMB (with hepatic lipid concentrations being < 2%, wet weight basis). Based on these growth, metabolic and histologic data, we recommend dietary CP and lipids levels to be 45% and 10%, respectively, for juvenile LMB.

published proceedings

  • Amino Acids

author list (cited authors)

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

citation count

  • 19

complete list of authors

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

publication date

  • July 2020