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Effect of Temperature, Protein Level on Hematological Parameters in Tilapia

Jun Qiang, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, and Hong Yanga look at the interacting effects of water temperature and dietary protein levels on hematological parameters in Nile tilapia juveniles and mortality under Streptococcus iniae infection.

Based on central composite rotatable experimental design and response surface method, the interacting effects of temperature (20 C34 C) and dietary protein level (25%50%) on hematological parameters including red blood cell (RBC), white blood cell (WBC) and hemoglobin (Hb) of juvenile Oreochromis niloticus were studied under laboratory conditions.

The experiment lasted for 7 weeks. After the feeding trial, fish were challenged with Streptococcus iniae and mortality was recorded for within 8 days.

Results showed that the linear and quadratic effects of temperature on RBC, WBC and Hb were highly significant (P < 0.01). When the dietary protein level was 25%50%, the RBC, WBC and Hb were increased firstly and then decreased, but the linear and quadratic effects of protein level were insignificant (P > 0.05). The interacting effects of temperature and protein level on RBC and Hb were significant (P < 0.05).

The regression equations of RBC, WBC and Hb toward the two factors of interest were established, with the coefficients of determination being 0.870, 0.836 and 0.881, respectively (P < 0.01). These equations could be used for prediction in practice.

After the challenge, the mortalities for the combinations of 22.1 C/28.7% and 20.0 C/37.5% were significantly higher than 27.0 C/37.5% (P < 0.05). The optimal temperature/dietary protein level combination was obtained at 27.9 C/38.1% at which the lowest mortality (13.76%) was attained. This value was close to the optimal temperature/dietary protein level combination (29.4 C/41.9%) for the greatest levels of RBC (2.560 106 L-1), WBC (270.648 103 L-1) and Hb (92.851 g L-1).

The results of this study indicated that preferred temperature/dietary protein level combination might strengthen the non-specific immunity and reduce susceptibility to S. iniae.

January 2013

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