Functional feeds are diets that have positive effects on both health and growth promoting performance of the animals ingesting them, by supplying additional compounds above and beyond the basic nutritional requirements for animal growth alone. The most common additives used in aquaculture diets are probiotics, prebiotics, immunostimulants, vitamins and nucleotides. Inclusion of these components to fish diets can increase feed conversion efficiency and growth, as well as having positive effects on the fish immune system. This review discusses the results from previous studies on fish nutrition and includes a novel genomic approach, using microarray analysis, to elucidate nutritional responses in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) fed a newly developed functional feed health premix diet. The transcriptome analysis demonstrated that compared to the standard diet feeding with the functional feed had significant effects on biological processes in the liver. This resulted in a reduction of the expression of genes related to protein turnover, reduced circulating plasma proteins and a down regulation of genes involved in the immune response. These results suggest that the functional feed may infer a decrease in whole body metabolic demands, suppressing both protein turnover and whole body oxygen demand, as well as down regulating several genes involved in the innate immune system. Together these changes appear to result in less energy wastage in fish and an enhanced growth and performance.
- Atlantic salmon
- functional feed