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J Sci Food Agric. 2012 Jan 30;92(2):418-26. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4594. Epub 2011 Aug 10.

Effects of dietary fish oil replacement with flaxseed oil on tissue fatty acid composition and expression of desaturase and elongase genes.

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School of Biomedical and Health Sciences, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria 8001, Australia.



This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of total or partial substitution of dietary fish oil (FO) by flaxseed oil (FlaxO) in Jade Tiger hybrid abalone on fatty acid composition of muscle, gonad and digestive gland, and the expression of desaturase and elongase genes. Abalone were fed five different experimental diets in which FO (control diet) was serially replaced by 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% FlaxO respectively.


Muscle, gonad and digestive gland of abalone fed the control diet and the diets containing 25%, 50% and 75% FlaxO showed significantly higher (P < 0.05) levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) compared to those fed the 100% FlaxO. The results also showed that Δ-6 desaturase and elongase gene expression in muscle was increased in a graded manner by increasing dietary FlaxO. The expression of both genes was higher in abalone fed the FlaxO-substituted diets compared to the abalone fed FO.


The replacement of FO with FlaxO in commercial abalone diets at levels of 25-75% can improve the composition of health-benefiting n-3 polyunsturated fatty acids in tissues of cultured hybrid abalone, and achieve similar outcomes to FO supplementation.

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