Effects of replacing soybean meal with cottonseed meal on growth, muscle amino acids, and hematology of juvenile common carp, Cyprinus carpio

  • Jianmei Su
  • Hongli Hou
  • Chunhong Wang
  • Yuliang LuoEmail author


A 56-day feeding trial was conducted to evaluate the effects of replacing dietary soybean meal (SBM) with cottonseed meal (CSM) for juvenile common carp, Cyprinus carpio. Four isonitrogenous (34% crude protein) and isolipidic (6% crude lipid) diets were formulated by replacing 0%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of protein from SBM with protein from CSM (CSM0, CSM50, CSM75, CSM100, respectively). Each diet was assigned to triplicate tanks with 30 fish (initial body weight 4.23 ± 0.28 g) per tank, and fish were fed to apparent satiation two times a day at 08:30 and 16:00 for 56 days in a recirculating system. Results showed insignificant differences (P > 0.05) in weight gain (WG 176.66–187.29%), specific growth rate (SGR 2.26–2.35% day−1) and feed conversion rate (FCR, 1.19–1.28) among the CSM0, CSM50, and CSM75 groups. However, there were significant decreases in WG (155.96%) and SGR (2.09% day−1), and a significant increase in FCR (1.53) for the CSM100 group (P < 0.05). The essential amino acid (49.28–49.48%), total amino acid (91.55–92.04%) and flavor amino acid contents (aspartic acid 7.67–8.15%) in the muscle of fish fed CSM50 and CSM75 diets were significantly increased (P < 0.05) in comparison with those of the CSM0 (42.73%, 82.85%, and 6.37%, respectively) and CSM100 groups (44.11%, 82.85%, and 6.80%, respectively). The serum glutamic pyruvic transaminase (30.38 U L−1) and glutamic oxalo-acetic transaminase (337.70 U L−1) contents were significantly increased in CSM100 group (P < 0.05), whereas the glucose (5.99 mmol L−1), triglyceride (1.48 mmol L−1), and total protein (15.12 mmol L−1) contents were significantly decreased in the CSM100 group (P < 0.05). Fish fed with CSM100 had liver damage, as assessed by histopathological observations. Therefore, our findings suggested that CSM could replace up to 75% of SBM in diet and had no major negative effects on growth, feed utilization, muscle quality, hematological indices, and pathology for juvenile common carp.


Plant protein sources Feed formulation Fillet characteristics Cyprinids 



Soybean meal


Cottonseed meal


Weight gain


Specific growth rate


Feed conversion rate


Hepatosomatic index


Renal somatic index


Glutamic pyruvic transaminase


Glutamic oxalo-acetic transaminase


Urea nitrogen






Total protein


Essential amino acid


Non-essential amino acid


Flavor amino acid


Total amino acid


Funding information

This study was supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (grant no. 2018CFB131) and Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (grant no. 2042017kf0031).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health SciencesWuhan UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.College of FisheriesHuazhong Agricultural UniversityWuhanPeople’s Republic of China

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