Modulation of growth performance and nonspecific immunity of red swamp crayfishProcambarus clarkiaupon dietary fulvic acid supplementation

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Abstract

An eight-week experiment was conducted to determine the effects of dietary fulvic acids (FAs) on the growth performance, digestive enzymes and nonspecific immunity of red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkia. Three diets supplemented with three different levels of FAs (0.1, 0.5 and 1 g kg−1) were formulated and tested for the growth performance, digestive enzymes and nonspecific immunity of the crayfish, and a diet without FAs served as control. After eight weeks of feeding, survival rate, phenoloxidase activity, superoxide dismutase activity, glutathione peroxidase level, total haemocyte count and number of hyaline cells, semigranular cells and granular cells and resistance to Aeromonas hydrophila of crayfishes fed with FA-containing diets were higher than those of the control. Moreover, based on the efficiency of FAs on the growth performance and nonspecific immunity of crayfish, the optimum dose of FAs was found to be 0.5 g (kg diet)−1. A high level of FA administration (1 g kg−1) did not further increase the efficiency of FAs compared with those in the moderate group (0.5 g kg−1, p > 0.05). Results indicated that oral administration of FA-containing diets can enhance the growth performance, intestinal digestive enzymes, immune responses and resistance of crayfish to infection by A. hydrophila. Thus, FAs may be utilized as a diet supplement for crayfish

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