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Human neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a worldwide neglected disease caused by Taenia solium metacestode and responsible for various complications and neurological disorders. This study aimed to evaluate the use of specific immunoglobulin Y (IgY) produced by laying hens immunized with a hydrophobic fraction of Taenia crassiceps metacestodes (hFTc) in NCC diagnosis. Egg yolk IgY antibodies were fractionated, purified and characterized. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was carried out to evaluate the production kinetics and avidity maturation of anti-hFTc IgY antibodies throughout the IgY obtention process. Antigen recognition tests were carried out by Western blotting and immunofluorescence antibody test using purified and specific anti-hFTc IgY antibodies for detection of parasitic antigens of T. crassiceps and T. solium metacestodes. Sandwich ELISA was performed to detect circulating immune complexes formed by IgG and parasitic antigens in human sera. The results showed high diagnostic values (93.2% sensitivity and 94.3% specificity) for immune complexes detection in human sera with confirmed NCC. In conclusion, specific IgY antibodies produced from immunized hens with hFTc antigens were efficient to detect T. solium immune complexes in human sera, being an innovative and potential tool for NCC immunodiagnosis.
Considering a potential exercise-drug interaction, we investigated whether exercise training could improve the efficacy of specific antiparasitic chemotherapy in a rodent model of Chagas disease. Wistar rats were randomized into five groups: sedentary and uninfected (CT); sedentary and infected (SI); sedentary, infected and treated (SIT); trained and infected (TI); trained, infected and treated (TIT). After 9-weeks running training, the animals were infected with T. cruzi and followed up for 4 weeks, receiving 100 mg kg−1 day−1 benznidazole. No evidence of myocarditis was observed in CT animals. TI animals exhibited reduced parasitemia, myocarditis, and reactive tissue damage compared to SI animals, in addition to increased IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, heart non-protein antioxidant (NPA) levels and glutathione-s transferase activity (P < 0.05). The CT, SIT and TIT groups presented similar reductions in parasitemia, cytokines (IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17 and MCP-1), inflammatory infiltrate, oxidative heart damage and antioxidant enzymes activity compared to SI and TI animals, as well as reduced heart microstructural remodeling (P < 0.05). By modulating heart inflammation and redox metabolism, exercise training exerts a protective effect against T. cruzi infection in rats. However, the antiparasitic and cardioprotective effects of benznidazole chemotherapy are more pronounced, determining similar endpoints in sedentary and trained T. cruzi-infected rats.
Heat stress due to increasing extremes in ambient temperature and humidity results in reduced semen quality in boars. This has caused reduced efficiency of the swine industry, requiring more boars to breed the same number of sows. Vitamins such as vitamin C (VC) and E (VE) have been shown to improve semen quality in boars. Recently, vitamin D has been shown to improve semen quality in boars. The purpose of this experiment was to evaluate the effects of increased supplemental vitamins on boar reproduction during the summer season in a commercial boar stud. One hundred and sixty Pig Improvement Company (PIC) terminal line boars (n = 32 per treatment) and 39 maternal, heat-sensitive boars (n = 7 or 8 per treatment) were randomly allocated to treatment and fed a corn and soybean meal-based diet adjusted based on individual boar body condition score. A control (CNT) diet was used that met PIC recommendations for boars. Increased supplementation of specific vitamins was given in the form of a top-dress and consisted of CNT wheat middlings, CNT plus VC (560 mg/day), CNT plus 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 (VD) (125 µg/day), CNT plus VE (275 mg/day) and CNT plus VC, VD and VE (CDE). The experiment was split into three periods based on maximum daily high temperatures in the barn, where period 1 was weeks 1 to 4, period 2 was weeks 5 to 11 and period 3 was weeks 12 to 14. Semen was collected from boars as needed using the stud’s normal production schedule and was analyzed for sperm quantity and quality characteristics. There were no dietary effects on semen volume, sperm concentration or total sperm production (P ≥ 0.553). Total motility of sperm was not impacted by diet (P = 0.115); although, VC tended (P = 0.064) to have a greater progressive motility than CDE. Percentages of morphologically normal sperm and normal acrosomes were not affected by dietary supplementation (P ≥ 0.157). Period effects were observed for most semen quality parameters, with quality generally becoming reduced over time. The present study demonstrates that increased supplementation of vitamins beyond PIC recommendations was not beneficial for boar reproduction during the summer.
The rate of deforestation in the Amazon is increasing. Predictive models estimate that as a result of agricultural expansion 40% of these forests will be lost by 2050. As a consequence the habitat of forest-dwelling species such as the Endangered black-faced black spider monkey Ateles chamek is being lost, particularly along the arc of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. We used species distribution modelling to (1) define the distribution of this spider monkey, using environmental predictors, (2) calculate the area of this distribution covered by the protected area network, and (3) calculate the expected loss of the species’ habitat under future scenarios of deforestation. We found that the species occupies only c. 28% of its extent of occurrence. Only 32% of the species’ area of occupancy is legally protected, and the modelling suggests that 31–40% of the species’ habitat will be lost by 2050. We highlight three unprotected regions with extensive forest cover that are predicted to become severely deforested by 2050 as priority regions for expanding the protected area network. We also propose landscape management and restoration in three human-modified regions. Our study provides an example of how species distribution modelling can be applied to assess threats to species and support decision makers in implementing conservation actions.
There have been few studies realized that evaluate the effects of adopting
different nutritional systems in more than one phase of cattle production on
carcass and meat characteristics. This study was realized to evaluate carcass
and meat characteristics from bulls submitted to different nutritional systems
during two production phases. The experiment was conducted at
Figueira’s farm during two production phases: I (cow–calf)
– 80 calves (99.6±2.72 days of age and
109.7±2.99 kg of BW) with their mothers were randomly assigned into
two supplemental diets: cow–calf mineral supplement
(n=40) or cow–calf creep-feeding
(n=40); II (stocker) – the same 80
calves (201.2±2.11 days of age and 190.2±3.37 kg of BW)
were redistributed into two production systems: stocker pasture
(n=40) or stocker feedlot (SF;
n=40). After, all 80 animals were kept on a pasture
system (III) for 290 days, and then finished in a feedlot system (IV) for more
33 days. Then, they were slaughtered at an average 764.2±3.06 days of
age and at 499.2±3.33 kg of final BW. After slaughter, the average
daily gain was calculated, and the carcass and meat characteristics were
measured. The statistical model design used was completely randomized in a
2×2 factorial arrangement (two treatment groups on
cow–calf phase and two treatment groups on stocker phase). The single
effects between the groups in each phase and the interactions between both
phases (cow–calf v. stocker) were analyzed. The
results were compared by Fisher’s test, using the R statistical
software. A cow–calf by stocker phases interaction occurred for
carcass conformation and fiber diameter. For single effects, the greatest
influences observed were in the stocker phase. The feedlot group was slaughtered
17 days earlier, with greater final BW (3.8%), hot carcass weight
(5.7%), average daily gain (6.9%), dressing percentage
(1.8%), carcass length (1.8%), carcass width
(1.5%), longissimus muscle area (4.8%)
and muscle depth (2.3%) than pasture group. The SF group also had
influence on fat color; showing higher L* and lower
b* values. These results reveal that bulls
reared in feedlot at the stocker phase have higher muscle development and that
the stocker phase has the greatest potential to influence carcass
characteristics and meat quality.
Due to the lack of basic information on water required by maize (Zea mays L.) in Brazil, the large amount of water applied usually exceeds crop requirements, wasting water and energy. In this study, we measured crop evapotranspiration (ETc) as evaporative heat flux from a centre pivot-irrigated maize plantation in Southern Brazil during winter and summer seasons, using the Bowen ratio method to evaluate how the degree of canopy-atmosphere coupling affects crop water needs and irrigation management. Irrigation requirements were determined by comparing ETc with reference evapotranspiration (ETo), derived from the Penman–Monteith equation and expressed as the ETc/ETo (Kc) ratio. In this study, the average Kc values obtained were 1.31 and 0.90 for the winter and summer, respectively. Using aerodynamic and canopy resistance measurements, the decoupling factor (Ω) was computed. Ω values tending to zero (0.09 and 0.20 for winter and summer, respectively) showed that strong coupling of maize plants to the atmosphere and sensitivity to high air temperatures, vapour pressure deficits and wind speed caused variations in Kc in relation to ETo ranges. During the experimental period, the Kc value ranged from 0.92 when the ETo exceeded 4 mm d−1 to 1.64 when the ETo was less than 2 mm d−1.
The Local Group contains a great number of dwarf irregulars and spheroidals, for which the spectroscopy of individual stars can be obtained. Thus, the chemical evolution of these galaxies can be traced, with the only need of finding populations spanning a large age range and such that we can accurately derive the composition. Planetary nebulae (PNe) are old- and intermediate-age star remnants and their chemical abundances can be obtained up to 3-4 Mpc. H ii regions, which are brighter and much easily detected, represent galaxies young content. PNe and H ii regions share similar spectroscopic features and are analysed in the same way. Both are among the best tracers of the chemical evolution allowing to draw the chemical time line of nearby galaxies. The focus in this review are the PN and H ii region populations as constraints to the chemical evolution models and the mass-metallicity relation of the local universe.
Symbiotic stars (SySts) are long-period interacting binaries composed of a hot compact star, an evolved giant star, and a tangled network of gas and dust nebulae. Presently, we know 252 SySts in the Milky Way and 62 in external galaxies. However, these numbers are still in striking contrast with the predicted population of SySts in our Galaxy. In this contribution, I present the concept and the early results from RAMSES II (Raman Search for Extragalactic Symbiotic Stars), a Gemini/GMOS Upgrade Project which makes use of the Raman OVI 6830Å band as a powerful photometric tool to identify new SySts, within and beyond the Galaxy.
Root-knot nematodes represent a serious threat to world coffee production, especially Meloidogyne incognita and M. paranaensis. Most cultivars of Coffea arabica are highly susceptible to these parasites and cultivation in infested areas has only been possible with the use of resistant C. canephora rootstocks. In this research, three elite clones of C. canephora, selected in areas infested by M. incognita and M. paranaensis, were evaluated in controlled conditions to assess levels of resistance against two populations of M. paranaensis, four populations of M. incognita and a mixed population of both species. The three clones were resistant to both species, but CcK1 and CcR2 were considered most promising because their vegetative growth was not impaired by nematodes.
Forage cactus is an important dry-season feed source for livestock in semi-arid regions, but in north-eastern Brazil, its contribution is limited by susceptibility to the carmine cochineal [Dactylopius opuntiae (Cockerell)] insect. New cactus germplasm shows superior agronomic performance, but the nutritive value of this material has not been adequately described. The objective of the current study was to assess the divergence in chemical composition and rate and extent of in vitro degradation of these genotypes. The treatments were 13 spineless cactus genotypes, eight of which were insect resistant types, two semi-resistant and three susceptible to the carmine cochineal. Treatments were arranged in a randomized complete block design and were replicated three times. Nutritional divergence was assessed using canonical variate analysis and hierarchical agglomerative clustering, using the variables: crude protein, total and non-fibrous carbohydrates, degradation rate and potential dry matter degradation. Five distinct nutritional groups were identified: Group I (OO), Group II (F-13 and F-15), Group III (OEA, OEM, COP, IPA 20 and GG), Group IV (V-16 and F-08) and Group V (Miuda, IS and F-21). Group II (F-13 and F-15; resistant genotypes) showed a chemical composition degradability in vitro suggesting it may have the greatest nutritive value as ruminant feed, while Group I had the least. Spineless cactus genotypes resistant to the carmine cochineal showed nutritional characteristics similar to or better than traditionally used cactus genotypes, such as Gigante and IPA 20, which can expand the range of options for using this forage.
High concentrations of indium (In) and selenium (Se) have been reported in the Neves-Corvo volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposit, Portugal. The distribution of these ore metals in the deposit is complex as a result of the combined effects of early ore-forming processes and late tectonometamorphic remobilization. The In and Se contents are higher in Cu-rich ore types, and lower in Zn-rich ore types. At the deposit scale, both In and Se correlate positively with Cu, whereas their correlations with Zn are close to zero. This argues for a genetic connection between Cu, In and Se in terms of metal sourcing and precipitation. However, re-distribution and re-concentration of In and Se associated with tectonometamorphic deformation are also processes of major importance for the actual distribution of these metals throughout the whole deposit. Although minor roquesite and other In-bearing phases were recognized, it is clear that most In within the deposit is found incorporated within sphalerite and chalcopyrite. When chalcopyrite and sphalerite coexist, the In content in sphalerite (avg. 1400 ppm) is, on average, 2–3 times higher than in chalcopyrite (avg. 660 ppm). The In content in stannite (avg. 1.3 wt.%) is even higher than in sphalerite, but the overall abundance of stannite is subordinate to either sphalerite or chalcopyrite. Selenium is dispersed widely between many different ore minerals, but galena is the main Se-carrier. On average, the Se content in galena is ~50 times greater than in either chalcopyrite (avg. 610 ppm) or sphalerite (avg. 590 ppm). The copper concentrate produced at Neves-Corvo contains very significant In (+Se) content, well above economic values if the copper smelters recovered it. Moreover, the high In content of sphalerite from some Cu-Zn ores, or associated with shear structures, could possibly justify, in the future, a selective exploitation strategy for the production of an In-rich zinc concentrate.
This study evaluated the impact of maternal vaccination against rubella on the levels of specific rubella IgG (rIgG) in 198 newborn cord sera samples. Detailed maternal vaccination data were available. Specific rIgG was measured using a commercial enzyme immunoassay. Most mothers (78.8%) had been vaccinated against rubella at least once in their lives. In 15 (7.6%) cord sera samples, the concentration of specific rIgG was below 11 IU/ml, which was classified as seronegative. Statistical analysis using multiple logistic regression (n = 198) showed that newborns of mothers born between 1986 and 1995, and those born to unvaccinated mothers, were more likely to be seronegative (odds ratio (ORs) 5.2 and 4.9, respectively, adjusted for sex and gestational age). For vaccinated mothers (n = 156), those born between 1986 and 1995 were more likely to have seronegative newborns (OR 11.5 adjusting for sex, gestational age and time since last vaccination). Mothers of the 15 (7.6%) seronegative newborns might have been susceptible to rubella during pregnancy. Checking the vaccination status therefore recommended.
Human strongyloidiasis is caused by helminth Strongyloides stercoralis. It has a worldwide distribution, often neglected and cause of severe morbidity. The parasitological diagnosis is hindered by the low and irregular amount of larvae in feces. The goal of the present study was to detect IgG and IgG immune complex using conventional serum samples and saliva as alternative samples. We collected samples from 60 individuals, namely: group I composed of 30 healthy individuals; and group II composed of 30 individuals eliminating S. stercoralis larvae in feces. We calculated the area under the curve, general index of diagnostic accuracy, Kappa index and determined the correlations between different diagnostic tests. The detection of IgG levels was performed by an immunoenzymatic assay with alkaline extract of S. venezuelensis larvae as antigen. Positivity of anti-S. stercoralis IgG in serum samples from group I was 3·3%, and from group II 93·3%. The detection of immune complex indicated that group I exhibited 3·3% and group II 56·7%. In the saliva samples, IgG detection was 26·7% for group I and 43·3% for group II. Immune complex was detected in 20% of group I, and 30% of group II. IgG immune complex in conventional serum samples and saliva as alternative samples can be considered biomarkers for the diagnosis of active strongyloidiasis.
Environmental regulations as well as economic incentives have resulted in greater use of synthetic amino acids in swine diets. Tryptophan is typically the second limiting amino acid in corn-soybean meal-based diets. However, using corn-based co-products emphasizes the need to evaluate the pig’s response to increasing Trp concentrations. Therefore, the objective of these studies was to evaluate the dose–response to increasing standardized ileal digestible (SID) Trp : Lys on growth performance of growing-finishing gilts housed under large-scale commercial conditions. Dietary treatments consisted of SID Trp : Lys of 14.5%, 16.5%, 18.0%, 19.5%, 21.0%, 22.5% and 24.5%. The study was conducted in four experiments of 21 days of duration each, and used corn-soybean meal-based diets with 30% distillers dried grains with solubles. A total of 1166, 1099, 1132 and 975 gilts (PIC 337×1050, initially 29.9±2.0 kg, 55.5±4.8 kg, 71.2±3.4 kg and 106.2±3.1 kg BW, mean±SD) were used. Within each experiment, pens of gilts were blocked by BW and assigned to one of the seven dietary treatments and six pens per treatment with 20 to 28 gilts/pen. First, generalized linear mixed models were fit to data from each experiment to characterize performance. Next, data were modeled across experiments and fit competing dose–response linear and non-linear models and estimate SID Trp : Lys break points or maximums for performance. Competing models included broken-line linear (BLL), broken-line quadratic and quadratic polynomial (QP). For average daily gain (ADG), increasing the SID Trp : Lys increased growth rate in a quadratic manner (P<0.02) in all experiments except for Exp 2, for which the increase was linear (P<0.001). Increasing SID Trp : Lys increased (P<0.05) feed efficiency (G : F) quadratically in Exp 1, 3 and 4. For, ADG the QP was the best fitting dose–response model and the estimated maximum mean ADG was obtained at a 23.5% (95% confidence interval (CI): [22.7, 24.3%]) SID Trp : Lys. For maximum G : F, the BLL dose–response models had the best fit and estimated the SID Trp : Lys minimum to maximize G : F at 16.9 (95% CI: [16.0, 17.8%]). Thus, the estimated SID Trp : Lys for 30 to 125 kg gilts ranged from a minimum of 16.9% for maximum G : F to 23.5% for maximum ADG.
By using an experimental model of dexamethasone-induced osteoporosis we investigated the effects of different therapeutic schemes combining sodium alendronate (SA) and simvastatin on bone mineral and protein composition, microstructural and mechanical remodeling. Wistar rats were randomized into eight groups: G1: non-osteoporotic; G2: osteoporotic; G3, G4, and G5: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively); G6, G7, and G8: osteoporotic+SA (0.2, 0.4, and 0.8 mg/kg, respectively)+simvastatin (0.4, 0.6, and 1 mg/kg, respectively). Osteoporosis was induced by dexamethasone (7 mg/kg, i.m.) once a week for 5 weeks. All treatments were administered for 8 weeks. Dexamethasone increased serum levels of alkaline phosphatase, calcium, phosphorus, and urea, especially in non-treated animals, which showed severe osteoporosis. Dexamethasone also induced bone microstructural fragility and reduced mechanical resistance, which were associated with a marked depletion in mineral mass, collagenous and non-collagenous protein levels in cortical and cancellous bone. Although SA has attenuated osteoporosis severity, the effectiveness of drug therapy was enhanced combining alendronate and simvastatin. The restoration in serum parameters, organic and inorganic bone mass, and mechanical behavior showed a dose-dependent effect that was potentially related to the complementary mechanisms by which each drug acts to induce bone anabolism, accelerating tissue repair.
The order Chiroptera is considered the second largest group of mammals in the world, hosting important zoonotic virus and bacteria. Bartonella and hemotropic mycoplasmas are bacteria that parasite different mammals’ species, including humans, causing different clinical manifestations. The present work aimed investigating the occurrence and assessing the phylogenetic positioning of Bartonella spp. and Mycoplasma spp. in neotropical bats sampled from Brazil. Between December 2015 and April 2016, 325 blood and/or tissues samples were collected from 162 bats comprising 19 different species sampled in five states of Brazil. Out of 322 bat samples collected, while 17 (5·28%) were positive to quantitative PCR for Bartonella spp. based on nuoG gene, 45 samples (13·97%) were positive to cPCR assays for hemoplasmas based on 16S rRNA gene. While seven sequences were obtained for Bartonella (nuoG) (n = 3), gltA (n = 2), rpoB (n = 1), ftsZ (n = 1), five 16S rRNA sequences were obtained for hemoplasmas. In the phylogenetic analysis, the Bartonella sequences clustered with Bartonella genotypes detected in bats sampled in Latin America countries. All five hemoplasmas sequences clustered together as a monophyletic group by Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian Inference analyses. The present work showed the first evidence of circulation of Bartonella spp. and hemoplasmas among bats in Brazil.
Blastocystis sp. is a protozoan commonly found in human and animal stool samples. Several pathogenic and zoonotic aspects of this organism are still unknown. The aim of the present study was to investigate Blastocystis subtypes (STs) in samples from patients of the Hospital das Clínicas of the Faculdade de Medicina at the Universidade de São Paulo (HC-FMUSP), Brazil. Blastocystis sp.-positive stool samples diagnosed at the Section of Parasitology of the Central Laboratory (HC-FMUSP) were used for DNA isolation. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed using specific primers targeting the small-subunit rRNA gene. Direct DNA sequencing of the PCR products was performed and the DNA sequences were then aligned and compared with other sequences obtained from the GenBank database. Phylogenetic analysis was used to identify STs and determine the phylogenetic relationships between the sequences. Four STs were identified: ST1 (22·5%), ST2 (12·5%), ST3 (60%) and ST6 (5%). In conclusion, ST3 was the most prevalent ST among the human isolates followed by ST1. The present study is one of the few providing STs data from the human population in South America. Determining ST prevalence in human samples may contribute to the monitoring of Blastocystis sp. infection transmission in endemic regions.
Strongyloides venezuelensis is a parasitic nematode of rodents that is frequently used to obtain heterologous antigens for immunological diagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. The aim of this study was to identify antigens from filariform larvae of S. venezuelensis for immunodiagnosis of human strongyloidiasis. Soluble and membrane fractions from filariform larvae of S. venezuelensis were obtained in phosphate saline (SS and SM) and in Tris–HCl buffer (TS and TM), and were analysed by Western blotting. Different antigenic components were recognized by IgG antibodies from the sera of strongyloidiasis patients. Highest recognition was observed for a 30–40 kDa mass range present in all antigenic fractions. The band encompassing this mass range was then excised and subjected to mass spectrometry for protein identification. Immunoreactive proteins identified in the soluble fractions corresponded to metabolic enzymes, whereas cytoskeletal proteins and galectins were more abundant in the membrane fractions. These results represent the first approach towards identification of S. venezuelensis antigens for use in immunodiagnostic assays for human strongyloidiasis.
In Portugal, the recommended age for the second dose of MMR (MMR2) was changed from 10–13 years to 5–6 years for those born in 1994 and afterwards. This study aimed to assess if MMR schedule and time elapsed from the last dose are associated with the concentration of rubella and mumps IgG antibodies. Three Portuguese birth cohorts (convenience samples) were selected for this study (66, 59 and 41 participants born respectively in 1990–1993, 1994–1995 and 2001–2003). Geometric mean concentrations (GMC) for mumps IgG were respectively 36, 30 and 38 RU/ml (P = 0·236) and for rubella IgG were 18, 20 and 17 IU/ml (P = 0·641). For both specific antibodies, no differences were observed with time since MMR2. Receiving MMR2 at 5–6 or 10–13 years was not associated with concentration of both antibodies. The GMC of rubella IgG was lower in males (P = 0·029). Taking into account previous evidence and the logistics needed to change vaccination schedules, it seems reasonable that sustaining very high coverage with two doses of MMR is currently the most pragmatic way to control mumps and rubella rather than any changes to the schedule.
Pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum (L.) R.) could play an important role as a feed source for ruminants in arid and semi-arid zones of the world owing to its high yield and drought tolerance. The current paper assessed the agronomic characteristics, ensilability, intake and digestibility of five Brazilian pearl millet cultivars (IPA Bulk1BF, BRS 1501, CMS-03, CMS-01 and BN-2) in a typical Brazilian northeastern semi-arid climate. Forage was harvested at the dough stage of grain maturity (growth stage 86 according to the BBCH scale) and ensiled under laboratory and farm conditions. Apparent digestibility of the silages was determined using 25 Santa Inês male lambs. The cultivars CMS-01, CMS-03 and BN-2 out-performed the others in terms of dry matter (DM) and digestible DM yield/ha. At DM partitioning among plant tissues, the cultivar IPA Bulk1BF had a greater DM associated with panicles and one of the greatest concentrations of organic matter, lactic acid and in vitro dry matter digestibility among the five cultivars. The cultivar BRS 1501 had greater butyric acid concentration as well as one of the highest pH values. Silage produced from BN-2 not only contained greater acetic acid concentration, but also showed one of the greatest total volatile fatty acid concentrations. There were no differences in feed intake and digestibility of nutrients and fibre fractions across all cultivars. Silage made from BN-2 resulted in greater urinary excretion of nitrogen than those produced from BRS 1501. Under the conditions of the present study, the results obtained for production of DM and digestible dry matter, and the ratio of plant fractions, indicates the possible use of these cultivars for silage production in the Brazilian semi-arid region.