Dong Fang Deng

Dong Fang Deng

  • Professor, School of Freshwater Sciences


  • PhD, Nutrition, University of California-Davis
  • MS, Animal Science, University of California-Davis
  • MS, Aquaculture Nutrition, Zhongshan (Sun Yet-Sen) University
  • BS, Zoology, Zhongshan (Sun Yet-Sen) University

Research Interests

Aquaculture is one of the fast growing industries for food production. The rapid expansion of intensive aquaculture has raised concerns about the increasing use of fish meals/oils and resulted in aquaculture being a net consumer rather than a producer of food production. Feed cost usually accounts for 40-60% of fish farming expenses. To increase fish farming profitability, we need to establish cost-effective feed formulations and feeding strategies, which allow to grow fish in a sustainable way. To address this issue, we need to answer some basic questions related to aquatic feed: What is the nutrient requirements for a targeted species? What are the potential alternatives for replacing fishmeal or fish oil? How can we improve not only the growth but also the fish health and their tolerance to different environmental conditions, through nutritional strategies?

Research in my lab integrates both traditional feeding trials and cutting edge techniques to study:

  1. Nutrient Requirement: Determine the nutrients requirement of fish at different life stages and cultured in different systems such as aquaponic, flow through water or recirculating aquaculture systems. Current focus is mainly but not limited to tilapia, Pacific white shrimp and the species of fish cultured in the Great Lake Regions such as yellow perch and lake sturgeon. In addition, we are interested in determining an optimum nutrient requirement/feeding rate using a variety of statistics/modeling approaches.
  2. Alternative Ingredients: Investigate substitutes of fish meal and fish oil aquatic feed production. Alternative ingredients include but not limited to byproducts or co-products from, biofuel, agriculture, fisheries, and food processing industries. Currently we study the potential applications of brewery waste grains, byproduct from food processing, microalgae, and black soldier fly as feed ingredients.
  3. Stress Response: Study interaction among the nutritional status of fish, microbiome characterization and tolerance of fish in response to environmental stressors. We apply approaches, which integrate biomarkers from gene expression, molecular and biochemical responses to a whole organism, to investigate underlying mechanisms that different species of fish use to handle diverse environmental stressors.

Our goal is to develop optimal feed and feeding management to support the sustainability of aquaculture industry.

Recent and Selected Publications

2022 Lu, X., Deng, D-F, Huang, F., Casu, F., Kraco, E., Newton, R.J., Zohn, M., Teh, S.J., Watson, A.M., Shepherd, B., Ma, M., Dawood, M.A.O., Mendoza, L.M.R. Chronic exposure to high-density polyethylene microplastic through feeding alters the nutrient metabolism of juvenile yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Animal Nutrition, Volume 9, Pages 143-158.

2022. Lu, X., Zhang, J.X., Zhang, L., Wu, D., Tian, J., Yu, L.J., He, L., Zhong, S., Du, H., Deng, D-F., Ding, Y.Z., Wen, H/, Jiang, M. Negative impacts of chronic dietary exposure to polyethylene microplastics on growth, gut microbiota, liver metabolism and gene expressions in genetically improved farmed tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus). Sci Total Environ. 2 Jun 7:156571. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.

2020 J-W. Lee, D-F. Deng, J, Lee, K. Kim, H. J Jung, Y. Choe, S.H. Park, M. Yoon. The adverse effects of selenomethionine on skeletal muscle, liver, and brain in the steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology (accept)

2020 Acuna S., Baxa, D., Lehman, P., Tech, F-C, Deng, D-F., Tech, S. Determining the exposure pathway and impacts of microsystis on Threadfin Shad, Dorosoma petenense, in San Francisco Estuary. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

2019 Jiang, M., Zhao, H.H., Zai, S.W., Newton, J.R., Shepherd, B., Tian, J., Lofald, G.A., Teh, S., Binkowski, F. Deng, D.F Nutritional quality of different starches in feed fed to juvenile Yellow Perch, Perca flavescens. Aquacult Nutr. DOI: 10.1111/anu.13026

2019 Xu-Tao Zhang, Zhen-Cai Yang, Dong-Fang Deng, Hai-Yan Liu*, Pan-Pan Yang, Yao Zhang. Effects of dietary starch levels on the growth, plasma metabolites, and expression of genes involved in glucose transport and metabolism in Pelodiscus sinensis juveniles. Aquaculture Research

2019 Lin, CY, Huang LH, Deng DF, Lee SH, Liang HJ, Hung SSO. Metabolic adaptation to feed restriction on the green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) fingerlings. Sci Total Environ. 684, 77-88. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.044

2019 Yang, S, Zhai, S.W, Shepherd, B, Binkowski, F.P., Hung, S.S.O., Sealey, W.M., Deng, D-F. Determination of optimal feeding rates for juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) fed a formulated dry diet. Aquacult Nutr. 2019; 00: 1– 12.

2018 Jiang, M., Zhao, H.H., Zai, S.W., Shepherd, B., Wen, H., Deng, D.F. A defatted microalgae meal (Haematococcus pluvialis) as a partial protein source to replace fishmeal for feeding juvenile yellow perch Perca flavescens. Journal of Applied Phycology,:10.1007/s10811-018-1610-3.

2018 Zhai, S.W., Shepherd, B., Yang, S., Xhao, H.H., Jiang, M., Binkowski, F. P., Deng D-F. Efficacy of Tricaine Methanesulfonate (MS-222) as an Anesthetic Agent for Short-term Anesthesia in Juvenile Yellow Perch (Perca flavescens). Israeli Journal of Aquaculture, 70, 1515, 11 pages.

2018 Seunghyung Lee, Hongxia Zhao, Yuquan Li, Fred P. Binkowski, Dong-Fang Deng* Brian S. Shepherd, Silas S.O. Hung, Sungchul C. Bai. Evaluation of formulated feed for juvenile lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) based on growth performance and nutrient retention. North American Journal of Aquaculture, 80:223-236.

2018 Jiang, M., H. Wen, G.W. Gou, T.L. Liu, X. Lu, D.F. Deng. Preliminary study to evaluate the effects of dietary bile acids on growth performance and lipid metabolism of juvenile genetically improved farmed tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus ) fed plant ingredient-based diets. Aquaculture Nutritio, 24, 1175-1183.

2017 Zhi Yong Ju, Dong-Fang Deng, Cecillia Viljoen, Ian Forster. Effects of algae-supplemented diets on shell pigmentation, growth performance, and meat composition of Pacific abalone Haliotis discus hannai. Journal of the World Aquaculture Society, 48(1):93-102.

2016 W.F Wang, S.H Lee, S.S.O. Hung, & D.F. Deng. Response of heat shock protein 70 and caspase-3/7 to dietary selenomethionine in juvenile white sturgeon. Animal Nutrition, 2: 45-50.

2016 Piaoping Zhou, Mengqiang Wang, Fengjun Xie, Dong-Fang Deng, Qicun Zhou. Effects of dietary carbohydrate to lipid ratios on growth performance, digestive enzyme and hepatic carbohydrate metabolic enzyme activities of large yellow croaker (Larmichthys crocea). Aquaculture, 452, 45-51

2015 K.K. ZHENG, W.F. WANG, S.S.O. HUNG, & D.F. DENG. Feeding rates affect heat shock protein 70 expression in green Sturgeon Fry (Acipenser medirostris). North American Journal of Aquaculture, 77:2, 206-210

2015 K.K. ZHENG, D.F. DENG, N. DE RIU, G. MONIELLO, & S.S.O. HUNG. The effect of feeding rate on the growth performance of green sturgeon (Acipenser medirostris) fry, Aquaculture Nutrition, 21, 489-495.

2014 Dong-Fang Deng, Zhi Yong Ju, Warren G. Dominy, Lytha Conquest, Peter. J. Bechtel and Scott Smiley. Effect of replacing dietary menhaden oil with pollock or soybean oil on muscle fatty acid composition and growth performance of juvenile Pacific threadfin (Polydactylus sexfilis). Aquaculture, 422-423, 91-97.

2013 Dong-Fang Deng, Zhi Yong Ju, Warren G. Dominy, P.J. Bechtel and Scott Smiley.An Evaluation of Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) Testes Meal in Diets for Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei): Effect on palatability, digestibility and growth performance. Aquaculture Nutrition, 19: 908-916.

2013 Weifang Wang, Dong-Fang Deng, Nicola De Riu, Giuseppe Moniello and Silas S.O. Hung. Heat Shock Protein 70 Responses in Tissues of White Sturgeon and Green Sturgeon Exposed to Different Stressors. North American Journal of Aquaculture, 75:164-169.

2013 Dave. Jirsa, Dong-Fang Deng, D. Allen Davis, Weifang Wang, Silas S.O. Hung, Mark Drawbridge. The Effects of Dietary Lipid Levels on Performance and Heat Shock Protein Response of Juvenile White Seabass, Atractoscion nobilis. Aquaculture Nutrition. 19, 227-232.

2012 Zhi Yong Ju, Dong-Fang Deng, Warren G. Dominy. A defatted microalgae (Haematococcus pluvialis) meal as a protein ingredient to partially replace fishmeal in diets of Pacific white shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei, Boone, 1931). Aquaculture, 354-355, 50-55

2012 Dong Han, Susie S.Y. Huang, Wei-Fang Wang, Dong-Fang Deng, Silas S.O. Hung. Starvation reduces the heat shock protein responses in white sturgeon larvae. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 93, 333-342.

2012 S. Acuna, D-F., Deng, P., Lehman, S. The. Sublethal dietary effects of Microcystis on Sacramento splittail, Pogonichthys macrolepidotus. Aquatic Toxicology. 110-111, 1-8.

2012 Zhi Yong Ju, Ian P. Forster, Dong-Fang Deng, Warren G. Dominy, Scott Smiley and Peter J. Bechtel., Evaluation of skate meal and sablefish viscera meal as fish meal replacement in diets for Pacific threadfin (Polydactylus sexfilis). Aquaculture research. 43, 1528-1535.

2012 S.S-Y. Huang, A.B. Strathe, W-F Wang, D-F Deng, J.G. Fadel, S.S.O. Hung. Selenocompounds in juvenile white sturgeon: Evaluating blood, tissue, and urine selenium concentrations after a single oral dose. Aquatic Toxicology.109, 158-65

2011 Zhi Yong Ju, Frank Castille, Dong-Fang Deng, Warren G. Dominy, Addison L. Lawrence, Ian P. Forster. Effects of replacing fish oil with stearine as main lipid source in diet on growth and survival of Pacific White Shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei (Boone, 1931). Aquaculture Research. Aquaculture Research, 43, 1528-1535.

2011 Ju, Z.Y., D.F. Deng, W.G. Dominy, I., Forster. Pigmentation of Pacific White Shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamein) by Dietary Astaxanthin Extracted from Haematococcus pluvialis. Journal of the world aquaculture society, 42(5), 633-644.

2011 Deng, D.F, Ju, ZY, Dominy, W, Murashige, R., .Wilson, RP. Optimal dietary protein levels for juvenile Pacific threadfin (Polydactylus sexfilis) fed diets with two levels of lipid. Aquaculture, 316, 25-30.

2010 Deng, D.F, Dominy, W, Ju, ZY, Koshio, S, Murashige, R,.Wilson, RP. Dietary lysine requirement of juvenile Pacific threadfin (Polydactylus sexfilis), Aquaculture, 308, 44-48.

2010 Tian, LX, YJ, Liu, SSO. Hung, D.F. Deng, HJ. Yang, J. Niu, GY, Laing. Effect of feeding strategy and carbohydrate source on carbohydrate utilization by grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idella). American Journal of Agricultural and Biological Sciences, 5, 135-142.

2010 Deng, DF, Zheng KK, Teh, FC, Lehman, PW, Teh, SJ, Toxic threshold of dietary microxytin (-LR) for quart medaka. Toxicon, 55, 787-794.

2002 Deng, D.F. Hemre, G.I. and Wilson, R.P. Juvenile Sunshine Bass (Morone chrysops ♀ x Morone saxatillis ♂) Do Not Require Dietary myo-inositol. Aquaculture 213:387-393.

2002 Buddington, R.K., Buddington, K.K., Deng, D.F. Hemre, G.I. and Wilson, R.P. A High Retinol Dietary Intake Increases its Apical Absorption by the Proximal Small Intestine of Sunshine Bass (Morone chrysops x M. saxatilis). Journal of Nutrition 132(9):2713-2716.