Objectives: Evaluate genetically enhanced barley, oats, and other small grains as feed sources for aquaculture and cooperate in a research program designed to develop genetically enhanced barley & oats as feed sources for aquaculture. Evaluate strains or stocks of rainbow trout and other fish species for adaptation to diets containing grains and grain products, including evaluation of enzymes involved in carbohydrate digestion in trout and characterization of the nutritional value of enhanced barley & oat germplasm. Carryout operational support to the fish hatchery for research on growth, development, and nutrition of rainbow trout broodstock lines in cooperation with the National Center for Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture at Leetown, West Virginia.
Approach: The evaluation effort will focus on small grains with unique traits such as low phytic acid content, enhanced protein and/or oil content, and modified amino acid composition intended to improve the nutritional value of barley and oats for aquaculture. ARS will provide a diversity of small grains for nutritional evaluation. The University of Idaho will conduct feeding trials to evaluate the nutritional value of the genetically enhanced small grains. The research will contribute to the development of genetically enhanced barley and oats for utilization as feed sources for aquaculture and concurrently evaluate genetic diversity in strains of rainbow trout relative to their ability to more effectively utilize alternative feed sources such as small grains in their diets.