Family growth response to fishmeal and plant-based diets shows genotype x diet interaction in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)
The ability of rainbow trout to efficiently utilize plant-based diets for growth and the genetic variation for that trait have not been thoroughly examined. In this study, growth of a pedigreed population from the commercial Kamloop strain was assessed while feeding plant-based or traditional fishmeal-based diets. Both fish oil (5.00%) and soybean oil (8.43%) were included in the plant-based diet, and only fish oil was used in the fishmeal diet (10.10%). Ninety-five full-sib families nested within 47 half-sib families were reared in a common environment. Parentage assignment was performed on approximately 1,000 fish fed each diet using eight microsatellite markers chosen for non-duplication, a minimum of five alleles with no known null alleles, at least 50% heterozygosity, and unambiguous scoring. Progeny were assigned to parental pairs using two allocation programs, PAPA and FAP, to increase accuracy and to test assignment efficiency. The fish fed the fishmeal/oil diet were approximately 8% larger than the fish fed the plant-based diet (P < 0.05). A significant genotype x diet effect accounted for 5% of the random variation. The genetic correlation for growth on the two diets was 73%, with a heritability of 30% across the diets. With this, I conclude that substantial genetic variation for utilizing pant-based diets containing soybean meal and oil exists in this widely used commercial rainbow trout strain. The genetic variation can be explored to detect and select for genes involved in proved utilization of plant-based diets containing soybean meal and oil if growth on plant-based meals becomes a long-term breeding goal in rainbow trout production.