Fish Physiology and Biochemistry

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 661–677 | Cite as

Growth performance, body composition, and digestive functionality of Senegalese sole (Solea senegalensis Kaup, 1858) juveniles fed diets including microalgae freeze-dried biomass

  • A. J. Vizcaíno
  • A. Rodiles
  • G. López
  • M. I. Sáez
  • M. Herrera
  • I. Hachero
  • T. F. Martínez
  • M. C. Cerón-García
  • F. Javier Alarcón


Senegalese sole is one of the most promising fish species cultivated in the Southern European countries. This study was aimed at assessing the effects of microalgae biomass added to diets for Senegalese sole juveniles on fish growing and condition status. Three isoproteic (52%) and isolipidic (10%) were formulated containing 15% Tisochrysis lutea (TISO), Nannochloropsis gaditana (NAN), or Scenedesmus almeriensis (SCE) biomass, respectively. An experimental microalgae-free diet (CT) and a commercial diet (COM) were used as controls. Fish were fed at 3% of their body weight for 85 days. Final body weight of fish fed microalgae-supplemented diets did not differ from group fed CT diet. Fish-fed CT, TISO, NAN, and SCE showed higher growth performance and nutrient utilization figures than specimen-fed COM diet. The highest carcass lipid content was found in COM group (141 g kg−1), and no differences were observed in body protein content. Ash was significantly higher in TISO, NAN, and SCE groups compared to fish-fed CT. Muscle EPA and DHA contents were not modified owing to the different dietary treatments. The n3/n6 and EPA/DHA ratios in muscle were similar in all the experimental groups. The quantification of digestive proteolytic activities did not differ among experimental groups, although differences in the protease pattern in digestive extracts by zymography were revealed in those fish fed on COM diet. Both α-amylase activity in the intestinal lumen and leucine aminopeptidase in the intestinal tissue were significantly lower in COM fish. Specimens fed on SCE diet showed a higher leucine aminopeptidase activity associated to the intestinal tissue compared to NAN-fed fish (0.40 and 0.25 U g tissue−1, respectively). The ultrastructural study revealed that the dietary inclusion of algal biomass, especially T. lutea and N. gaditana, had a positive impact on the absorptive capacity of the intestinal mucosa. The highest values for the parameters microvilli length and microvilli absorption surface were observed in fish fed on NAN diet (1.99 μm and 45.93 μm2, respectively). Even though further studies aimed at optimizing commercial formulas for Senegalese sole are required prior to any large-scale practical utilization, the results obtained clearly suggest the potential of microalgae as dietary ingredients for this fish species.


Aquafeed Fish nutrition Tisochrysis lutea Microalgae Nannochloropsis gaditana Scenedesmus almeriensis Senegalese sole 



The experimental diets were made in the facilities provided by CEIA3 and CEIMAR (Service of Experimental Diets; The authors acknowledge Fundación Cajamar (Almería, Spain) for kindly providing the microalgae used in this work.

Funding information

This study was part of the research projects ECOAQUA, AGR5334, and SABANA (grant # 727874) from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Biología y Geología, Escuela Superior de IngenieríaUniversidad de AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain
  2. 2.School of Biological SciencesPlymouth UniversityPlymouthUK
  3. 3.IFAPA Centro Agua del PinoHuelvaSpain
  4. 4.Centro Oceanográfico de VigoInstituto Español de OceanografíaVigoSpain
  5. 5.Departamento de Ingeniería Química, CITE II-AUniversidad de AlmeríaAlmeríaSpain

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