Experiments were conducted to determine the degree to which phytate-bound phosphorus from plant protein sources could be used by hybrid tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus X O. aureus). Utilizing an inert marker technique with chromic oxide, hybrid tilapia in our study were effective at utilizing both inorganic and phytate phosphorus as evidenced by average apparent digestibility values of 93.2% and 90.0% for total and phytate phosphorus, respectively. Analysis of the intestinal brush border membrane of the tilapia revealed enzyme activity that was capable of hydrolyzing phytic acid. The presence of phytic acid hydrolyzing enzyme activity in the intestinal brush border provides a probable mechanism by which these hybrid tilapia are able to utilize phytate phosphorus effectively. ?? 2003 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.