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XIII.—The Mid-Winter Rumen Microfauna of the Seaweed-Eating Sheep of North Ronaldshay*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 June 2012

J. Margaret Eadie
Rowett Research Institute, Bucksburn, Aberdeenshire.
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In January 1956 a visit was made to North Ronaldshay, one of the Orkney Islands, to examine the rumen ciliate protozoa of the seaweed-fed native sheep. Rumen material from thirteen sheep was examined and the ciliate species identified. The numerical ratio of holotrich to oligotrich ciliates appeared to be much the same as in the hay-fed sheep's rumen; Isotriclia intestinalis Stein was, however, always absent. Certain experiments on the protozoan utilization of carbohydrates were carried out and the results compared with those of similar experiments on rumen liquor from hay-fed sheep. The holotrich ciliates of North Ronaldshay sheep were found to store amylopectin when the rumen liquor was incubated with laminarin, to a lesser extent when incubated with galactose and to be unaffected by mannose. These three results differ from previous experience with hay-fed sheep. No seaweed carbohydrate other than laminarin was utilized by the North Ronaldshay sheep holotrichs in vitro.

Research Article
Copyright © Royal Society of Edinburgh 1957

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This paper was assisted in publication by a grant from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.


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