HYBRID EVENT: You can participate in person at Paris, France or Virtually from your home or work.

4th Edition of
World Aquaculture and Fisheries Conference

June 24-26, 2024 | Paris, France
WAC 2021

Tom Wedegaertner

Tom Wedegaertner, Speaker at Aquaculture Conferences
Agricultural and Environmental Research, Cotton Incorporated, NC, United States
Title : A new era of cottonseed protein utilization is about to begin


Each year the cotton crop on the planet produces about 11 million metric tons of plant-based protein, as a byproduct of cotton production. Unfortunately, almost all this protein must be used as a supplement for ruminant animals or used for fertilizer. This vast plant-based protein reserve is being grossly underutilized in the conversion of plant-based protein to high-quality animal protein due to a naturally occurring chemical known as gossypol. Gossypol is a cumulative toxin that severely limits the utilization of cottonseed protein. Researchers in China and the U.S. have simultaneously used two different molecular biology strategies to reduce gossypol in cottonseed to safe levels. Extensive aquaculture research with low-gossypol cottonseed protein has clearly shown that it can satisfy most, if not all, of the protein requirements of many important aquaculture species, where it can effectively replace or extend the use of fish meal. Cottonseed protein is a unique plant-based protein because it is highly palatable, nutritious and widely available.  As this technology is integrated into cotton plants worldwide, over the next decade, it will help enable the aquaculture industry to continue to grow and become more sustainable.


Tom Wedegaertner has been involved in research and marketing activities in the cottonseed industry for the past 39 years.  He is currently the Director of Cottonseed Research at Cotton Incorporated.  Tom has graduate degrees in animal nutrition and marketing