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Research article2006Peer reviewed

Effect of the level of dry matter and protein and degradation rate of starch on in vitro ruminal fermentation

Sveinbjornsson J, Murphy M, Uden P


Effects of starch type, feeding level and level of a mixed N source upon rumen fermentation were examined using an in vitro rumen simulation system (i.e., SIMCO) with a fluid volume of 1100 ml and liquid dilution rate of approximately 0.07/h. Two sources of starch, two feeding levels and two levels of N were examined in an experiment following a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement of treatments. The starch sources were raw slowly degrading (R), and cooked fast degrading (C), potato starch and constituted 450 g/kg diet dry matter (DM). The remaining was supplied in the form of a grass hay mixture. The feeding levels were 20 (DM20) and 40 (DM40) g DM/d and the diet N level was either low (N1) or high (N2), using peptone and ammonia salt additions in the buffer. Two simulations of 10 days each were completed. The amount of bicarbonate in buffer was varied according to feeding level, and pH (average 6.3) did not differ between treatments. An increased degradation rate of starch (R vs. C) depressed neutral detergent fibre (aNDFom) digestibility (0.46 vs. 0.36) and organic matter true digestibility (OMTD; 0.73 vs. 0.68), but there were no other treatment effects on digestibility. The VIA production efficiency (average 0.47 g VFA/g OMTD) was not affected by the main treatments, although an interaction between starch type and feeding level occurred. A decline in protozoa rating over the 10 day simulations was more apparent at the lower feeding level (DM20), indicating poor growth conditions for protozoa. Higher microbial efficiency (11.0 vs. 8.9 mg microbial N/g OMTD) and a higher proportion of propionate (272 vs. 207 mmol/mol VFA) occurred at DM20 compared to DM40. Increased degradation rate of starch (i.e., R vs. Q resulted in an improved microbial N efficiency (8.8 vs. 11.2 mg/g OMTD) and an increase in the proportion of propionate (226 vs. 253 mmol/mol VIA) at the expense of acetate (610 vs. 591 mmol/mol VIA). Increasing the level of N (i.e., N1 vs. N2) improved the microbial N efficiency (9.2 vs. 10.7 mg/g OMTD) and increased the proportion of propionate (230 vs. 249 mmol/mol VIA) and butyrate (100 vs. 119 mmol/mol VIA) at the expense of acetate (629 vs. 572 mmol/mol VFA). Interactions between starch type and N level upon VIA patterns were apparent. Results support earlier findings in that carbohydrate degradation rate is an important factor determining microbial growth rates and VFA distribution. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Published in

Animal Feed Science and Technology
2006, Volume: 130, number: 3-4, pages: 191-203

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

    Publication identifier


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