Integrated alternative approaches to select feed-efficient rainbow trout families to enhance the plant protein utilization

Sci Rep. 2024 Feb 16;14(1):3869. doi: 10.1038/s41598-024-54218-2.


Improving feed utilization efficiency is a challenge in aquaculture. Therefore, we developed an indirect benchmark to use in selecting trout for improved efficiency of feed utilization on plant protein (soy)-based diets, with the long-term goal of reducing the cost of commercial trout production. We used a four-part integrative approach to identify feed efficient individuals among 1595 fish coming from 12 genetically selected families by establishing the phenotypic relationship between feed conversion ratio (FCR) and body weight variations using compensatory feeding regimes. Additionally, we examined the nutritional composition of fish filet for each efficiency phenotype during the compensatory regimen. Our findings showed that the fish with the lowest weight loss during a feed deprivation period and the highest weight gain during the refeeding period (FD-/RF +) demonstrated the lowest FCR (FCR = 0.99) and consisted of individuals from several lines. This finding confirms the possibility of improving feed efficiency in mixed lines. Although feeding period has an effect on nutritional composition of fillet, such selection criteria did not show an effect on groups. Overall, successful selection for the improvement of feed efficiency will have a broad application to commercial fish selective breeding programs, leading to increased aquaculture sustainability in the long run.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Body Weight / genetics
  • Diet
  • Humans
  • Oncorhynchus mykiss* / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Selective Breeding


  • Plant Proteins