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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

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INRA Experimental Fish Farm of the Monts d'Arrée

Strain selected for its ability to convert plant-based feed

Scientific leaders: M. Dupont-Nivet, E. Quillet (GABI- GenAqua), F. Médale (NuMeA)
Technical leaders: Jean-Michel Le Calvez, Thierry Kerneis, Lionel Goardon
Contact : Mathilde Dupont Nivet

Start date: December 2007      Planned duration: > 5 years

INRA research unit partners

Financial aid: FUI VegeAqua project, INRA-IFREMER thesis grant for Richard Le Boucher, GDR INRA-IFREMER

Access conditions: Strain available in the framework of scientific collaborations with the INRA research units GABI and LPGP on a case-by-case basis (material transfer agreement (MTA) regarding the use of animals and derived tissues or cells).


In the context of substituting marine-based ingredients in aquaculture feed with plant-based ingredients, four research axes emerge:

  • genetics-feed interactions
  • selection of fish best converting plant-based feed
  • reproduction of animals fed completely with feed high in plant-based ingredients
  • mechanisms that influence the degree to which plant-based feeds are used.

Experimental design

In all experiments, the choice between two contrasting feeds was made: one marine-based feed and one completely plant-based feed (no fish oil or meal). The two feeds are distributed from the first feeding. The feeds are experimental feeds formulated and mixed by Numea. Analyses of body composition and fatty-acid profiles were also performed by Numea.

Experimental selection with the creation of an improved strain
The fish are fed from the first feeding with the entirely plant-based feed. The fish selected are those that adapt best to this diet. Size-based selection is performed 4 or 5 times until the fish reach 300-400 g. At the end, only 5% of the initial group of fish are kept.