This study investigated the long-term effects of total and partial replacement of dietary fish meal (FM) by a mixture of agricultural products on sperm quality of African catfish Clarias gariepinus. Four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets were formulated containing graded levels of either 50% FM and maize meal (diet 1); 25% FM mixed with crude sunflower oil cake (SFOC) and bean meal (BM) (diet 2); 12.5% FM mixed with sunflower oil cake, BM and ground nut oil cake (GOC) (diet 3) and 0% FM mixed with de-hulled sunflower oil cake (SFOCD), BM and ground nut oil cake (diet 4). Gonadosomatic index (GSI), sperm quality, plasma sex steroids (11-keto testosterone [11-KT]; testosterone [T]; estradiol-17beta [E2]) were evaluated on 10 to 24 fish fed on each diet. Sperm quality was assessed using computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA). Total replacement of fish meal by plant products markedly increased sperm volume, spermatocrit, spermatozoa integrity, and sperm motility. Fish fed diet 3 (12.5% fish meal) provided intermediate results on sperm quality whereas the lowest values were obtained in fish fed diets 1 and 2. In fish fed 0% fish meal (diet 4), androgen levels were higher and estrogen levels were lower than in fish fed fish meal diets. Based on dietary lipid and fatty acid analyses, these results suggest a positive impact of short chain n-6 fatty acids on androgen synthesis and sperm quality. In conclusion, a combination of ground nut oil cake, bean meal and sunflower oil cake (preferably when the sunflower is dehulled) in African catfish diet improves the sperm quality. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2012|