UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Gene Regulatory Roles of Herbal Extracts on the Growth, Immune System, and Reproduction of Fish Ahmadifar, Ehsan; Pourmohammadi Fallah, Hamideh; Yousefi, Morteza; Dawood, Mahmoud A. O.; Hoseinifar, Seyed Hossein; Adineh, Hossein; Yilmaz, Sevdan; Paolucci, Marina; Doan, Hien Van


The crucial need for safe and healthy aquatic animals obligates researchers in aquaculture to investigate alternative and beneficial additives. Medicinal herbals and their extracts are compromised with diverse effects on the performances of aquatic animals. These compounds can affect growth performance and stimulate the immune system when used in fish diet. In addition, the use of medicinal herbs and their extracts can reduce oxidative stress induced by several stressors during fish culture. Correspondingly, aquatic animals could gain increased resistance against infectious pathogens and environmental stressors. Nevertheless, the exact mode of action where these additives can affect aquatic animals’ performances is still not well documented. Understanding the mechanistic role of herbal supplements and their derivatives is a vital tool to develop further the strategies and application of these additives for feasible and sustainable aquaculture. Gene-related studies have clarified the detailed information on the herbal supplements’ mode of action when administered orally in aquafeed. Several review articles have presented the potential roles of medicinal herbs on the performances of aquatic animals. However, this review article discusses the outputs of studies conducted on aquatic animals fed dietary, medicinal herbs, focusing on the gene expression related to growth and immune performances. Furthermore, a particular focus is directed to the expected influence of herbal supplements on the reproduction of aquatic animals.

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