Contact: Prof. Dr. Cornelia C. Metges

Duration: 2022-2025

Funding: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

"ProFeed" aims to develop a high-quality protein-rich feed additive from cellulose-containing residues from regional agriculture or paludiculture. First, the University of Greifswald will investigate whether bacterial symbionts of the ship borer Teredo navalis isolated from the Baltic Sea are able to utilize complex cellulose-containing residues through their lignocellulolytic enzyme cascades and their ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen for the synthesis of amino acids. In this context, by-products and residues from agriculture or paludiculture, such as straw, will serve as a carbon source for the fermentation process to be developed in order to synthesize protein-rich microbial biomass (F-BioM) with the aid of bacterial nitrogen fixation. At FBN, the F-BioM will then be used to rear Hermetia illucens larvae (Black Soldier Fly Larvae, BSFL), which are capable of efficiently converting a variety of organic materials into larval biomass. Here, we propose that biomass derived from the fermentation process of shipworm microorganisms (F-BioM) can enhance larval growth when used in increasing amounts to replace a conventional insect diet. Furthermore, it will be clarified whether BSFL growth and protein quality of larval body mass can be improved by F-BioM instead of a conventional insect diet (MDG). To determine the maximum possible replacement of MGD by F-BioM, first the nutrient composition of F-BioM will be determined in detail and then this will be verified in a feeding trial with BSFL to what extent F-BioM can replace MGD without reducing growth performance. On the basis of nutrient analyses in feed substrates, larvae and the residual material, a balance-calculation will also be carried out. In this way, the protein-enriched F-BioM finds a real-world use case, and contributes to the closing of nutrient cycles, entirely in the sense of the bioeconomy.