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Effect of fibrolytic enzymes added to a Andropogon gayanus grass silage-concentrate diet on rumen fermentation in batch cultures and the artificial rumen (Rusitec)

  • G. O. Ribeiro (a1) (a2), L. C. Gonçalves (a1), L. G. R. Pereira (a3), A. V. Chaves (a4), Y. Wang (a2), K. A. Beauchemin (a2) and T. A. McAllister (a2)...

Abstract

In vitro batch cultures were used to screen four fibrolytic enzyme mixtures at two dosages added to a 60 : 40 silage : concentrate diet containing the C4 tropical grass Andropogon gayanus grass ensiled at two maturities – vegetative stage (VS) and flowering stage (FS). Based on these studies, one enzyme mixture was selected to treat the same diets and evaluate its impact on fermentation using an artificial rumen (Rusitec). In vitro batch cultures were conducted as a completely randomized design with two runs, four replicates per run and 12 treatments in a factorial arrangement (four enzyme mixtures×three doses). Enzyme additives (E1, E2, E3 and E4) were commercial products and contained a range of endoglucanase, exoglucanase and xylanase activities. Enzymes were added to the complete diet 2 h before incubation at 0, 2 and 4 μl/g of dry matter (DM). Gas production (GP) was measured after 3, 6, 12, 24 and 48 h of incubation. Disappearance of DM (DMD), NDF (NDFD) and ADF (ADFD) were determined after 24 and 48 h. For all four enzyme mixtures, a dosage effect (P<0.05) was observed for NDFD and ADFD after 24 h and for DMD, NDFD and ADFD after 48 h of incubation of the VS diet. For the FS diet, a dosage effect was observed for GP and NDFD after 24 h and for GP, DMD, NDFD and ADFD after 48 h of incubation. There was no difference among enzyme mixtures nor was there an enzyme×dose interaction for the studied parameters. Because of the greatest numerical effect on NDF disappearance and the least cost price, enzyme mixture E2 at 4 µl/g of diet DM was selected for the Rusitec experiment. The enzyme did not impact (P>0.05) DM, N, NDF or ADF disappearance after 48 h of incubation nor daily ammonia-N, volatile fatty acids or CH4 production. However, enzyme application increased (P<0.05) microbial N production in feed particle-associated (loosely-associated) and silage feed particle-bound (firmly associated) fractions. With A. gayanus silage diets, degradation may not be limited by microbial colonization, but rather by the ability of fibrolytic enzymes to degrade plant cell walls within this recalcitrant forage.

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