We studied the effects of increasing dietary concentrations of each of the following amino acids on growth, feed intake, feed conversion ratio and composition of gain in rainbow trout in six dose-response experiments: L-lysine, L-tryptophan, L-histidine, L-valine, L-leucine and L-isoleucine. Semipurified diets containing 20.1 MJ digestible energy/kg dry matter, with wheat gluten and crystalline amino acids as sole sources of amino acids, were fed to rainbow trout [initial mean body weight (BW) 40-51 g, depending on the amino acid studied]. In one series of 24 diets, lysine concentration ranged from 4.5 to 58.0 g/kg dry matter; in five further series of 12 diets each, concentrations ranged from (in g/kg dry matter): tryptophan, 1.3 to 5.6; histidine, 2.6 to 13.5; valine, 6.2 to 34.2; leucine, 10.0 to 42.0 and isoleucine, 5.0 to 15.3. Each diet was fed to a group of 20 fish for 53-64 d, depending on the amino acid studied. Dry matter intake, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, protein concentration of gain and total protein deposition followed exponential response functions. To achieve 95% of the maximum protein deposition, dietary concentrations of 27.7 g lysine, 2.0 g tryptophan, 5.8 g histidine, 15.7 g valine, 13.6 g leucine and 13.7 g isoleucine/kg dry matter were required. Maintenance requirements, estimated from exponential functions for protein deposition, were [in mg/(100 g BW.d)]: lysine, 1.93; tryptophan, 1.05; histidine, 1.07; valine, 2.92; leucine, 8.26 and isoleucine, 0.91. This corresponds to 4% of the requirement for protein deposition for lysine and isoleucine but 32% for leucine, with the other amino acids being intermediate. Therefore, different dietary amino acid requirement patterns were derived from protein deposition data depending on the chosen level of performance.