Limitations to Starch Utilization in Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) as Revealed by NMR-Based Metabolomics


Palma M, Trenkner LH, Rito J, Tavares LC, Silva E, Glencross BD, Jones JG, Wade NM & Viegas I (2020) Limitations to Starch Utilization in Barramundi (Lates calcarifer) as Revealed by NMR-Based Metabolomics. Frontiers in Physiology, 11, Art. No.: 205.

Practical diets for commercial barramundi production rarely contain greater than 10% starch, used mainly as a binding agent during extrusion. Alternative ingredients such as digestible starch have shown some capacity to spare dietary protein catabolism to generate glucose. In the present study, a carnivorous fish species, the Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer) was subjected to two diets with the same digestible energy: Protein (P) – with high protein content (no digestible starch); and Starch (S) – with high digestible (pregelatinized) starch content. The effects of a high starch content diet on hepatic glycogen synthesis as well as the muscle and liver metabolome were studied using a complementary approach of 1H and 2H NMR. The hepatosomatic index was lower for fish fed high starch content diet while the concentration of hepatic glycogen was similar between groups. However, increased glycogen synthesis via the direct pathway was observed in the fish fed high starch content diet which is indicative of increased carbohydrate utilization. Multivariate analysis also showed differences between groups in the metabolome of both tissues. Univariate analysis revealed more variations in liver than in muscle of fish fed high starch content diet. Variations in metabolome were generally in agreement with the increase in the glycogen synthesis through direct pathway, however, this metabolic shift seemed to be insufficient to keep the growth rate as ensured by the diet with high protein content. Although liver glycogen does not make up a substantial quantity of total stored dietary energy in carnivorous fish, it is a key regulatory intermediate in dietary energy utilization.

Asian seabass; 2H NMR; metabolomics; aquaculture; hepatic glycogen

Frontiers in Physiology: Volume 11

FundersCommonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation
Publication date31/12/2020
Publication date online20/03/2020
Date accepted by journal21/02/2020