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Doctoral thesis, 2014

Digestion and metabolism of carbohydrates in fish

Abro, Ranni;


This thesis deals with the digestion and metabolism of carbohydrates in Arctic charr, Eurasian perch and tilapia. Two sources of carbohydrates, native starch (wheat) and chitin (zygomycete biomass), were evaluated. Gut tissue of Arctic charr displayed significant chitinase activity, of both endo- and exo-chitinase forms. Moreover, the distribution pattern along the gastrointestinal tract of Arctic charr differed between endo-chitinase and exo-chitinase. The endo-chitinase activity in stomach tissue and in the distal intestine was several hundred-fold higher than the exo-chitinase activity in stomach tissue. The greatest exo-chitinase activity was found in the distal intestine fed a zygomycete-based diet. Disturbed intestinal integrity and increased uptake rate of the amino acid lysine were observed in the distal, but not proximal, intestine of fish fed the zygomycete-based feed. A ¹HNMR metabolomics approach revealed no differences in metabolic profile in liver tissues of Arctic charr fingerlings fed a zygomycete-based diet and a fish-meal based diet. The inclusion of wheat starch did not affect α-amylase activity in gut tissue of Arctic charr and Eurasian perch. Overall, α-amylase activity was correlated with the trends obtained for starch digestibility. The apparent digestibility (AD) of crude protein, starch, crude fat and energy differed between the fish species, with on average higher values for all parameters in Eurasian perch than in Arctic charr. Within fish species, dietary starch level had no effect on AD of dry matter, crude protein, crude fat and energy. Studies of the metabolic response to wheat starch inclusion in Arctic charr and tilapia using ¹HNMR base metabolomics indicated metabolic effects in tilapia, while inclusion of starch in the diet of Arctic charr resulted in partial or negligible metabolism effects. Thus there are species-related differences in the metabolic response to dietary starch inclusion.


carbohydrates; chitin; metabolism; fish; diet; metabolites; wheat starch; enzyme; zygomycete

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae

2014, number: 2014:1
ISBN: 978-91-576-7950-5
Publisher: Dept. of Animal Nutrition and Management, Swedish University of Agricltural Sciences

Authors' information

Abro, Ranni (Abro, Ranni)
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Animal Nutrition and Management

UKÄ Subject classification

Medical Bioscience

URI (permanent link to this page)