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The effectiveness of biological treatment of wheat straw with 8 strains of white rot fungi

  • E. M. Hodgson (a1), M. D. Hale (a1) and H. M. Omed (a1)


In the developed world, wheat straw is commonly regarded as a waste product. An obvious application is as an animal feed source, however, the digestible sugars (cellulose and hemicelluloses) are chemically bound within lignified cell walls. This severely inhibits its digestibility and thus its energy and nutritive value by ruminants. Various methods have been used to increase its digestibility and nutritive value by breaking, or weakening the linkages between the lignin and hemicelluloses prior to it being fed to ruminants. Where grass and silage are abundant and relatively cheap sources of animal feed, it is not cost effective to try and utilize this resource. However where alternative feed sources are not readily available, low cost upgrading of an abundant source of fodder would have many benefits. The objectives of this study were to use 8 strains of white rot fungi to pretreat wheat straw to improve its in-vitro digestibility, and to determine the impact of the fungi on the in-vitro digestibility method, i.e. to see if fungi have any adverse effects on the digestibility method.


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Effland, M. J. (1977) Modified procedure to determine acid insoluble lignin in wood and pulp. Tappi 6 (10): 143144.
MAFF (1986). The analysis of agricultural materials. Reference book 427.
Omed, H. M., Lovitt, D.K. & Axford, R. F. E. (2000) Faeces as a source of microbial enzymes for estimating digestibility. In: Givens, D.I., Owen, E., Axford, R. F. E. and Omed, H. M. (eds) Forage evavluation in ruminant nutrition. CAB International publishers. pp135 – 154.


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