Evaluation of the Genetic Diversities and the Nutritional Values of the Tra (Pangasius hypophthalmus) and the Basa (Pangasius bocourti) Catfish Cultivated in the Mekong River Delta of Vietnam

  • Men, L.T. (College of Agriculture, Cantho University) ;
  • Thanh, V.C. (College of Agriculture, Cantho University) ;
  • Hirata, Y. (Graduate School of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology) ;
  • Yamasaki, S. (College of Agriculture, Cantho University)
  • Received : 2004.05.05
  • Accepted : 2004.12.24
  • Published : 2005.05.01


A total of 50 individual catfish, the Tra (Pangasius hypophthalmus) cultivated in either floating cages (Tra-c) or in ponds (Tra-p) and the Basa (Pangasius bocourti) raised in three floating cages, were collected in two of the Mekong Delta provinces. The caudal fin of each individual fish was used for protein electrophoresis employing the SDS-PAGE method. The one fillet sides were used as a representative sample to determine the dry matter (DM), crude protein (CP), ether extract (EE) and amino acids (AAs). The catfish oil was extracted from the belly fats, and the fatty acid (FA) composition was analyzed. There were 21 bands of the Tra and the Basa. Protein bands of the two varieties were 28.6-33.3% polymorphic, while polymorphic individuals of the Tra ranged from 80.0 to 100.0%, and the Basa was 90.0% polymorphic. The phenotypic diversity (Ho) of the Tra ranged from 1.71 to 1.80, while the Basa ranged as high as 2.14%. Diversity values (H$_{EP}$) for genetic diversity markers were equal in the Tra and the Basa. The sum of the effective number of alleles (SENA) of both varieties ranged from 3.40 to 3.83 for the Basa and the Tra, respectively. The lower values of Ho and SENA, as compared with those of the fresh water prawn (Macrobrachium equidens) in the area, would suggest that the species with the low values will become extinct due to inbreeding; the gene pools of each observed population were below a suitable threshold. Many of the differences in the nutritional values of the Tra-c, the Tra-p and the Basa were measured; their nutrient values were comparable to fishmeal or fish oil. Most of the DM, CP, and EE were higher in the Tra, especially in the Tra-c. The essential AA content, especially that of lysine, was highest in the Tra-c, next highest in the Tra-p, and lowest in the Basa. Therefore, the amino acid patterns were closer to the ideal patterns in the same sequences. In contrast, the essential FAs were concentrated in the Basa fish oil. It was found that suitable selection of parents for seed production is required to avoid inbreeding. Catfish may be valuable sources of nutrition for both humans and animals, and the differences in their nutritional values by variety and/or management must be taken into account.


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