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Fish Physiol Biochem. 2017 Apr;43(2):591-602. doi: 10.1007/s10695-016-0314-3. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Effects of amino acid supplementations on metabolic and physiological parameters in Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) under stress.

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IFAPA Centro Agua del Pino, El Rompido-Punta Umbría rd, 21450, Cartaya, Spain.
IFAPA Centro Agua del Pino, El Rompido-Punta Umbría rd, 21450, Cartaya, Spain.
Facultad de Ciencias Experimentales, Universidad de Huelva, 21071, Huelva, Spain.
Centre for Marine Aquaculture Research, Salarøyvegen 979, 9103, Kvaløya, Norway.
Nofima, Muninbakken 9-13, 9291, Tromsø, Norway.


The effects of tryptophan (Trp) and phenylalanine (Phe) diet supplementation on the stress and metabolism of the Atlantic cod have been studied. Fish were fed diet supplemented with Trp or Phe or control diet for 1 week. At the end of the feeding trial, fish were subjected to air exposure or heat shock. Following samples of blood, liver and muscle were taken from the fish and were analyzed for stress and metabolic indicators. After an air exposure, plasma cortisol levels in fish fed with Trp and Phe diets were lower compared to the fish fed the control diet. Diets containing both amino acids increased significantly the liver transaminase activities in juvenile cod. During thermal stress, high Trp contents had significant effects on fructose biphosphatase activity though Phe did not. Overall, activities of glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, pyruvate kinase, and phosphofructokinase increased significantly for both amino acid diets. For the thermal stress, fish had the highest values of those activities for the 3Trp diet. Trp content in the diet had significant effects on the transaminase activity in muscle during air stress compared to fish fed control and Phe diets. Muscle alanine transaminase activity for thermal stress in fish fed any diet was not significantly different from the control. Both Trp and Phe supplementations reduced the stress markers in the cod; hence, they could be used as additives for the stress attenuation. However, they also raised the activity of key enzymes in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, mainly the Trp diets.


Cod; Metabolism; Phenylalanine; Stress; Tryptophan; Welfare

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