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Digestibility of Calanus finmarchicus wax esters in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) freshwater presmolts and seawater postsmolts maintained at constant water temperature
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Dr Anthony Oxley
Oxley A, Bogevik AS, Henderson RJ, Waagbo R, Tocher DR, Olsen RE
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Calanoid copepods are a rich source of marine lipid for potential use in aquafeeds. Copepod oil is primarily composed of wax esters (WE) and there are concerns over the efficiency of wax ester, versus triacylglycerol (TAG), digestion and utilization in fish. As smoltification represents a period of major physiological adaptation, the present study examined the digestibility of a high WE diet (Calanus oil; 48% WE, 26% TAG), compared with a TAG diet (fish oil; 58% TAG), in Atlantic salmon freshwater presmolts and seawater postsmolts, of similar age (9 months) and weight (112 g and 141 g initial, respectively), over a 98-day period at constant temperature. Fish grew significantly better, and possessed lower feed conversion ratios (FCR), in seawater than freshwater. However, total lipid apparent digestibility coefficient (ADC) values were significantly lower in seawater fish, as were total fasted bile volumes. Dietary Calanus oil also had a significant effect, reducing growth and lipid ADC values in both freshwater and seawater groups. Postsmolts fed dietary Calanus oil had the poorest lipid ADC values and analysis of faecal lipid class composition revealed that 33% of the remaining lipid was WE and 32% fatty alcohols. Dietary prevalent 22:1n-11 and 20:1n-9 fatty alcohols were particularly poorly utilized. A decrease in primary bile acid, taurocholate, concentration was observed in the bile of dietary Calanus oil groups which could be related to the lower cholesterol content of the diet. The dietary WE : TAG ratio is discussed in relation to life stage and biliary intestinal adaptation to the seawater environment postsmoltification.
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