Publications (1)0 Total impact
ABSTRACT: The growth of aquaculture has negatively affected the environment due to the high levels of nitrogen excreted by farmed fish. Here we propose that modifying the nitrogen metabolism of the fish themselves using transgenic technology might solve the pollution problem. Growth hormone (GH) is known to increase protein retention and absorption, and is thought to reduce ammonia excretion. Thus, we produced transgenic Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) that over-expressed the GH gene throughout their bodies. Our findings showed that the food-conversion efficiency of the transgenic fish was 35% higher than that of their non-transgenic siblings. The rearing period required for the transgenic fish to reach a body weight of 20 g was about 75% of that required for non-transgenic fish that were fed the same type and quantity of food. The total amount of ammonium-nitrogen excreted by the transgenic fish was about 69% of that excreted by the wild-type fish over their lifetime. These results suggest that our transgenic approach has the potential to reduce the amount of nitrogen pollution caused by farmed fish. This strategy is a promising option for making aquaculture more ‘eco-friendly’.