Impact of protein deficient diets supplemented with methionine on the growth, nutrient utilization and amino acid profile of African catfish Clarias gariepinus (Burchell, 1822)

Lawrence Nwanna


Fish farmers often use practical diets deficient in proteins in order to minimize costs and maximize profits. A study conducted to determine the effects of DL-Met supplementation in such diets on the growth and carcass quality of African catfish Clarias gariepinus, showed that feeding fish with protein deficient diets retarded growth performance, reduced nutrients composition and increased the carcass lipid. However, supplementation of Met in the diets generally improved the fish growth performance, nutrient composition and enhanced the synthesis of other amino acids in the fish body. Similarly, supplementation of Met to protein deficient 35% crude protein (CP) diet raised the Met content of that diet that it produced fish with similar growth performance as those fed the control diets of 40 or 45% CP. The study also revealed no additional significant benefits by increasing the dietary protein level of the fish from 40 to 45%, thus confirming 40% protein as the requirement for the fish. However, 35% crude protein diet supplemented with 0.11% DL-Met was as efficient as a diet of 40% CP in supporting the growth performance and nutrient utilization and in regulating the carcass quality of the fish.

Keywords: Farm made protein deficient diets, African catfish, Methionine

Full Text:



Adebayo, T. (2005). Dietary protein level and feeding rate for hybrid Clariid catfish,

Clarias gariepinus × Heterobranchus bidorsalis, in homestead tanks. Journal of Applied

Aquaculure 9(1), 97-106.

A.O.A.C. (Association of Official Analytical Chemists - A.O.A.C). (1995). Official methods of analysis. 12th Edition. George Banta Co. Inc. Manasha, Winsconsin, USA. 937 p.

Arzel, J., Metailler, R., Kerleguer, C., Le Delliou, H. & Guilaume, J. (1995). The protein requirement of brown trout (Salmo trutta) fry. Aquaculture 130, 67-78.

Blasco J., Fernandez J. and J. Gutierrez, 1991. The effects of starvation and re-feeding on plasma amino acid levels in carp, Cyprinus carpio.(L.) Journal of Fish Biology 38, 587–598

Chattopadhyay, K., Mondal, K. & Roy, B. (2006). Comparative efficacy of DL-methionine

and herbal methionine on performance of broiler chicken. International Journal of Poultry Science 5, 1034–1039.

Chen F., Noll, L., Waibel, E. & Hawkins, D. (1993). Effect of folate, vitamin B12 and choline supplementation on turkey breeder performance. Poultry Science 72, 73–77.

Chen, Y. & Tsai, C. (1994). Optimal dietary protein level for the growth of juvenile grouper, Epinephelus malabaricus, fed semipurified diets. Aquaculture 119, 265-271.

Clawson, A., Garlich, J., Coffey, M. & Pond, W. (1991). Nutritional, physiological, genetic, sex, and age effects on fat-free dry matter composition of the body in avian, fish and mammalian species: a review. Journal of Animal Science 69(9), 3617-44.

Cowey, C., Cho, C., Sivak, J., Weerheim, J. & Stuart, D. (1992). Methionine intake in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) relationship to cataract formation and the metabolism of methionine. Journal of Nutrition 122, 1154-1163

De Lange, C., Gillis, A. & Simpson, G. (2001). Influence of threonine intake on whole-body protein deposition and threonine utilization in growing pigs fed purified diets. Journal of Animal Science 79(12), 3087-95.

De Silva, S. & Anderson, T. (1995). Fish Nutrition in Aquaculture. Chapman & Hall, London, UK, 319 pp.

Duncan, D. (1955). Multiple range and multiple (F) test. Biometrics 11, 1-42.

Hertrampf, J. & Piedad-Pascual, F. (2000). Handbook on Ingredients for Aquaculture Feeds.

Kluwer Academic Publishers, the Netherland. 573 pp

Fagbenro, O., Balogun, A. & Anyanwu, C. (1992). Optimum dietary protein level of

Heterobranchus bidorsalis fed compounded diet. Nigerian Journal of Applied Fish

Hydrobiology 1, 41-45.

FAO, ( 2012). The state of the world fisheries and aquaculture, 2012.

Gunasekera, R., De Silva, S., Collins, R., Gooley G. & Ingram, B. (2000). Effect of dietary protein level on growth and food utilization in juvenile Murray cod Maccullochella peelii (Mitchell). Aquaculture Research 31, 181-187.

Kaushik, S. & Fauconneau, B. (1984). Effects of lysine administration on plasma arginine

and some nitrogenous catabolites in rainbow trout. Comperative Biochemistry and

Physiology 79, 459–462.

Kendall, P. (2003). Turning carnivorous fish into vegetarians. Nature 426, 379- 379.

Kerr, B., Southern, L., Bidner, T., Friesen, K. & Easter, R. (2003). Influence of dietary protein level, amino acid supplementation, and dietary energy levels on growing-finishing pig performance and carcass composition. Journal Animal Science 81(12), 3075-87.

Khan, C.; Ang, K., Ambak, M. & Saad, C. (1993). Optimum dietary protein requirement of a

Malaysian freshwater catfish, Mystus nemurus. Aquaculture, 112, 227-235

Kim, S., Takeuchi, K., Akimoto, A., Furuita, A.,Yamamoto, T., Yokoyama, M. & Murata, Y. (2005). Effect of taurine supplemented practical diet on growth performance and taurine contents in whole body and tissues of juvenile Japanese flounder, Paralichthys olivaceus. Fisheries Science 71, 627-632.

Kwasek, K., Zhang,Y., Hliwa, P., Gomuzka, P., Ostaszewska, T. & Dabrowski, K. (2009). Free amino acids as indicators of nutritional status of silver bream (Vimba vimba), when using commercial and purified diet. Comperative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A153, 113-119

Li, M. & Robinson, H. (1998). Effects of supplemental lysine and methionine in low protein

diets on weight gain and body composition of young channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus.

Aquaculture 163, 297-307.

Liebert, F., Sünder, A. & Mohamed, K (2006). Assessment of nitrogen maintenance requirement and potential for protein deposition in juvenile tilapia genotypes by application of an exponential nitrogen utilization model. Aquaculture 261, 1346–135

Lovell, T. (1989). Diet and fish nutrition husbandry. In: Halver JE (ed) Fish Nutrition.

Academic Press, California, London, pp 549–604

Luo, Z., Liu, Y., Mai, K., Tian, L., Liu, D. & Tian, X. (2004). Optimal dietary protein

requirement of grouper Epinepheluscoioides juveniles fed iso-energetic diets in floating net

cages. Aquaculture Nutrition 10, 247–252.

Mohapatra, S., Chakraborty, A., Prusty, K., Das, P., Paniprasad, K. & Mohanta, K. (2012).

Use of different microbial probiotics in the diet of rohu, Labeo rohita fingerlings: effects on

growth, nutrient digestibility and retention, digestive enzyme activities and intestinal

microflora. Aquaculture Nutrition 18, 1-11.

Mukhopadhyay, N. & Ray, A. (1999). Improvement of quality of sesame Seasamum indicum

seed meal protein with supplemental amino acids in feeds for rohu, Labeo rohita

(Hamilton) fingerlings. Aquaculture Resources 3, 549–557.

Murai, T., Wang, D. & Ogata, H. (1989). Suplementation of methionine to soy flour diets

for fingerling of carp, Cyprinus carpio. Aquaculture 77, 373–385.

Nordrum, S., Krogdahl, A., Røsjø, C., Olli, J. & Holm, H. (2000). Effects of methionine, cysteine and medium chain triglycerides on nutrient digestibility, absorption of amino acids along the intestinal tract and nutrient retention in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar L) under pair-feeding regime. Aquaculture 186, 341–360

NRC, (National Research Council). (1993). Nutrient requirements of fish,Washington, DC,

USA, National Academic Press, Washington, DC, 114 pp.

NRC, (National Research Council). (2011). Nutrient requirements of fish and shrimp, Washington, DC, USA, National Academic Press, Washington, DC, 376 pp.

Nwanna, L. (2002). Performance of hybrid clariid catfish fingerlings (male

Heterobranchus Bidorsalis x female Clarias gariepinus) fed poultry layer waste diets in

glass tanks. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 12(3), 99-106.

Nwanna, L., Lemme, A., Metwally, A. & Schwarz, F. ( 2012). Response of common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) to supplemental DL-methionine and different feeding strategies

Aquaculture 356–357 (2012): 365–370

Oishi, C., Nwanna, L. & Manoel, P. ( 2010). Optimum dietary protein requirement for Amazonian Tambaqui (Colossoma macropomum Cuvier, 1818) fed fish meal free diets. ACTA AMAZONICA 40(4), 757-762.

Ozoro, R., Booms, O., Huisman, G. & Verreth, J. (2002). Changes in amino acid

composition in the tissues of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) as a consequence of dietary L-carnitine supplements. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 18, 140–147.

Pesti, G. (2009). Impact of dietary amino acid and crude protein levels in broiler feeds on biological performance. Journal of Applied Poultry Resources 18, 477-486

Poston, H. (1986). Response of rainbow trout to source and level of supplemental dietary

methionine. Comperative Biochemistry and Physiology 83A, 739-744

Robinson, E. (1991). Improvement of cotton seed meal protein with supplemental lysine in feeds for channel catfish. Journal of Applied Aquaculture 1, 1–14.

Sardar, P., Abid, M., Randhawa, H. & Prabhakar, S. (2009). Effect of dietary lysine and methionine supplementation on growth, nutrient utilization, carcass compositions and haemato-biochemical status in Indian Major Carp, Rohu (Labeo rohita H.) fed soy protein-based diet. Aquaculture Nutrition 15, 339–346.

SAS, (2003). Statistical Analysis Software (SAS) systems for Windows, SAS Inc., Cary. NC, USA.

Schwarz, F., Kirchgeßner, M. & Deuringer, U. (1989). Studies on the methionine requirement

of carp (Cyprinus carpio L.). Aquaculture 161, 121–129.

Shiau, S. & Lan, C. (1996). Optimum dietary protein level and protein to energy ratio for growth of grouper (Epinephelus malabaricus). Aquaculture 145, 259-266.

Simmons, L., Moccia, R. & Bureau, D. (1999). Dietary methionine requirement of juvenile

Arctic charr, Salvelinus alpinus (L). Aquaculture Nutrition 5, 93–100.

Skonberg, D., Yogev, L., Hardy, R. & Dong, F. (1997). Metabolic response to dietary

phosphorus intake in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Aquaculture 157,11-24.

Sugiura, S., Gabaudan, J., Dong, F. & Hardy, R. (2001). Dietary microbial phytase supplementation and the utilization of phosphorus, trace minerals and protein by rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (Walbaum) fed soybean meal-based diets. Aquaculture Research 32, 583-592.

Williams, K., Barlow, C. & Rodgers, L. (2001). Efficacy of crystalline and protein-bound

amino acids for amino acid enrichment of diets for barramundi/Asian seabass

(Lates calcarifer). Aquaculture Research 1, 415-429.

Yamamoto, T., Sugita, T. & Furuita, H. (2005). Essential amino acid supplementation to fish

meal-based diets with low protein to energy ratios improves the protein utilization in juvenile

rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss. Aquaculture 246, 379–391.

Yang, S., Liou, C. & Liu, F. (2002). Effects of dietary protein level on growth performance,

carcass composition and ammonia excretion in juvenile silver perch (Bidyanus bidyanus).

Aquaculture 213, 363-372