Improvement Of Fish Growth And Metabolism By Oligosaccharide Prebiotic Supplement

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Aquaculture Nutrition


Finfish aquaculture is expected to continue to benefit from significantly improved fish diets, which are the source of energy to support the growth and health of fish. Strategies to enhance the transformation rate of dietary energy and protein to fish growth are greatly desired by fish culturists. Prebiotic compounds can be used as supplements to human, animal, and fish diets to populate beneficial bacteria in the gut. The goal of the present study is to identify low-cost prebiotic compounds with high efficacy in increasing the absorption of food nutrients by fish. Several oligosaccharides were evaluated as prebiotics in Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), one of the most widely cultured species in the world. Several parameters of the fish on different diets were evaluated, including feed conversion ratios (FCRs), enzymatic activities, expression of growth-related genes, and the gut microbiome. Two age groups of fish (30 days old and 90 days old) were used in this study. The results indicated that the addition of xylooligosaccharide (XOS), galactooligosaccharide (GOS), or XOS and GOS combination to the basic fish diet significantly decreased the feed conversion ratio (FCR) of the fish in both age groups. Both XOS and GOS decreased the FCR of 30-day-old fish by 34.4% compared to the fish on the control diet. In the 90-day-old fish group, XOS and GOS decreased the FCR by 11.9%, while the combination of the two prebiotics led to a 20.2% decrease in FCR compared to the control group. The application of XOS and GOS also elevated the production of glutathione-related enzymes and the enzymatic activity of glutathione peroxidase (GPX), indicating the enhancement of antioxidation processes in fish. These improvements were associated with significant changes in the fish gut microbiota. The abundance of Clostridium ruminantium, Brevinema andersonii, Shewanella amazonensis, Reyranella massiliensis, and Chitinilyticum aquatile were upregulated by XOS and GOS supplements. The findings of the present study suggested that the prebiotics would be more effective when they were applied to the younger fish, and the application of multiple oligosaccharide prebiotic compounds could result in a greater growth enhancement. The identified bacteria can be potentially used as probiotic supplements in the future to improve fish growth and feeding efficiency and ultimately reduce the cost of tilapia aquaculture.

PubMed ID