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Aquaculture NutritionRead article
This study examines how appetite and growth regulation of Atlantic salmon are affected by low dissolved oxygen (LO) and dietary digestible energy levels (DE: high [HE] vs. low [LE]). Long-term exposure to LO resulted in a reduced feed intake, growth, digestible protein and fat retention efficiencies and increased feed conversation ratio and plasma ghrelin concentrations (p < .05) compared to high dissolved oxygen (HO). Pair-feeding of rations based on the feed intake of the LO groups, but fed at HO, resulted in a 50% growth improvement in HE diet groups. This suggests that the poor growth under LO was not entirely caused by the reduced feed intake. Salmon adapted to LO by increased haemoglobin concentrations, while osmoregulation was affected by increased plasma chloride concentrations (p < .05). Plasma ghrelin concentration was unaffected by DE (p > .05). Growth regulation was affected by the HE diet, with increased liver and muscle growth hormone receptor ghr1 mRNA (p < .05), regardless of oxygen level. The growth depression due to low oxygen appears to be related to higher metabolic costs, while higher DE upregulates the GH-IGF system at the ghr1 level and found to be beneficial for growth, feed intake, oxyregulation and osmoregulation under hypoxia.