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The effect of dietary starch levels on microbial population and cell wall digestion in the rumen



The effect of dietary starch levels on microbial population and cell wall digestion in the rumen



Animal Science & Technology 63(3): 286-294



Changes in rumen microbial populations were analyzed when diets with zero, 1.5, and 5.0 kg/d of corn (labeled Diet A, B and C, respectively), added to 6.0 kg/d (Diet A and B) or 3.0 kg/d (Diet C) of Italian ryegrass hay, were given to two rumen fistulated Japanese Black steers. Concurrently, in vitro digestibilities of cell walls isolated from Italian ryegrass hay, corn gluten feed, tofu refuse and sugar-beet pulp were determined using washed cell suspensions of rumen microbes on each diet as inoculum. Total viable, amylolytic, and xylan-fermenting bacterial increased their numbers with corn-supplemented diets. Cellulolytic bacteria decreased on Diet C. Methanogens and protozoa tended to increase when Diet B was given. Cell wall digestibility in the in vitro incubation showed remarkably low values for all samples on Diet C. This is attributed to the low digestibilities of both ADF and non-ADF fractions in the cell wall, except sugar-beet pulp which did not decrease non-ADF digestibility. With Diet B, ADF digestibility was lower for each feed as compared with Diet A. However, since non-ADF digestibility increased on Diet B, no difference in total cell wall digestibility was detected between Diet A and B. The higher values of non-ADF digestibility on Diet B seem to be due to the increase in hemicellulose-fermenting bacteria on that diet.

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