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Aquaculture is the fastest growing agricultural sub-sector, with an annual growth of about 10%. Antibiotics have been used in fish/shrimp feeds as growth promoters. Since the last decade, several countries have banned or at least restricted the use of antibiotics in aqua feeds due to its serious consequences such as bacterial drug-resistance, breakage of the animal intestinal micro-ecological balance and the presence of antibiotic residues in resultant fish/shrimp products. Recently progressive research has been carried out to screen the potential alternative antimicrobial growth promoters such as pre-/pro-biotic and phytochemicals. In the current study a natural product, cationic proteins from Moringa kernels (MKP) possessing antimicrobial activity were used as an alternative to synthetic antibiotic and as a growth promoter in fish nutrition.

An 8-week experiment was conducted on Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) fingerlings (240; av. wt. 4.7 ± 0.23 g), randomly distributed in 6 groups with 4 replicates and fed iso-nitrogenous diets (crude protein 36%): Control (fish meal based protein), C800 (control diet containing 800 ppm MKP), PP [plant protein based proteins: a mix of detoxified Jatropha kernel meal, Soybean meal and Moringa leaf meal), and PP800, PP1200 and PP1600 (PP diet containing 800, 1200 and 1600 ppm MKP respectively). Highest (P < 0.05) body mass gain (BMG, %), specific growth rate (SGR, %/day), metabolic growth rate (g kg0.8 day-1) (data?) and protein efficiency ratio (PER) (Vikas: how can you say this; PER for C800 and Control is not significant because Control and C800 have bc and c superscript respectively) were observed for C800 group. The values of these parameters for PP1600 and PP were similar (P > 0.05), but were lower compared with those for other groups (Table 1), suggesting a bell shaped response of MKP. The feed conversion ratio (FCR, dry feed fed/body mass gain) was lowest for C800 group and highest for PP1600 group, demonstrating . Vikas: please mention in the text that is important from your point of view ( here it is important to keep in mind that C and C800 are important, and for the plant protein groups, which is the best (or trend). Red blood cells (RBC) count, haematocrit, haemoglobin (5.21- 7.09 g/dl) were lowest for control group and highest for PP1600 group (Table 1) The reader can see themselves. You just state what is important for the story/message you are telling to the reader.

Table 1: Growth performance, nutrient utilization and haematological parameters





(% /day)




(106 cells/mm3)

Haematocrit (%)

Total protein (g/dl)




636 ± 15.8c

3.30 ± 0.04cd

1.17 ± 0.02ab

2.38 ± 0.05bc

1.07 ± 0.03a

36 ± 2.00a

2.96 ± 0.32a

36 ± 5.37a


723 ± 29.4d

3.53 ± 0.07d

1.14 ± 0.15a

2.46 ± 0.29c

1.16 ± 0.03b

39 ± 2.39ab

3.24 ± 0.05b

47 ± 4.44b


529 ± 42.0ab

2.97 ± 0.14ab

1.37 ± 0.08abc

1.96 ± 0.11ab

1.22 ± 0.04b

42 ± 2.71b

3.15 ± 0.09ab

44 ± 5.01ab


551 ± 59.7b

3.04 ± 0.20bc

1.47 ± 0.19c

1.85 ± 0.23a

1.30 ± 0.02c

51 ± 5.49bc

3.38 ± 0.13b

40 ± 9.59ab


500 ± 35.2ab

2.87 ± 0.13ab

1.46 ± 0.14bc

1.84 ± 0.18a

1.35 ± 0.03cd

59 ± 4.17c

3.70 ± 0.17c

43 ± 3.96ab


463 ± 25.5a

2.74 ± 0.10a

1.52 ± 0.14c

1.76 ± 0.16a

1.38 ± 0.09d

60 ± 2.25d

3.64 ± 0.09c

47 ± 5.39b

Mean values in the same column with different superscript differ significantly (P < 0.05).

IU= The amount of enzyme required producing a change in the absorbance (450 nm) of 0.001 units per minute at pH 6.24 and 250C, using a suspension of Micrococcus lysodeikticus as the substrate.

Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and total protein concentration in the blood is presented in the Table 1 The reader can see these and the range. You tell what you interpret from these. Significantly highest (P<0.05) albumin (1.18-1.65 g/dl) concentration in blood; and mean cell volume (335-438 fL) were observed for PP1200 group and these values were statistically not different (P>0.05) from those for PP1600 group and lowest value for these parameters were observed in control group (so what? Tell what you make out of this). Mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration was highest in PP1600 group and lowest in control group (range: 11.3-14.5 g/dl) (so what? Why a reader should know this?).

Mean corpuscular haemoglobin (48-51 pg); globulin (1.78-2.01 g/dl); glucose (43-56 g/dl), total bilirubin (0.19-0.24 mg/dl), urea nitrogen (4.0-5.1 mg/dl), creatinine (0.19-0.44 mg/dl), calcium (12.4-13.5 mg/dl), phosphorus (25-28 mg/dl), sodium (149-156 mM/l) and potassium (1.65-2.59 mM/l) concentrations and alanine transaminase (31-54 U/l) activity in blood did not differ significantly among the six groups, and were within the normal ranges.

In conclusion, optimum level of MKP is 800 ppm in fish diets because it exhibited better (I mentioned earlier that better is used to compare two groups here you are not comparing two groups) growth performance and health status (on what basis you say that this group had better/best health status?) of fish than other groups. The MKP has potential to be used as a natural growth promoter.