The Requirement of Ruminal Degradable Protein for Non-Structural Carbohydrate-Fermenting Microbes and Its Reaction with Dilution Rate in Continuous Culture

  • Meng, Q.X. (College of Animal Science & Technology, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Xia, Z.G. (College of Animal Science & Technology, China Agricultural University) ;
  • Kerley, M.S. (Department of Animal Sciences, University of Missouri)
  • Received : 2000.02.15
  • Accepted : 2000.05.16
  • Published : 2000.10.01


A continuous culture study was conducted to determine the impact of ruminal degradable soy protein (S-RDP) level and dilution rate (D) on growth of ruminal non-structural carbohydrate-fermenting microbes. Corn starch, urea and isolated soy protein (ISP) were used to formulate three diets with S-RDP levels of 0, 35 and 70% of total dietary CP. Two Ds were 0.03 and $0.06h^{-1}$ of the fermenter volume in a single-effluent continuous culture system. As S-RDP levels increased, digestibilities of dietary dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM) and crude protein (CP) linearly (p=0.001) decreased, whereas digestion of dietary starch linearly (p=0.001) increased. Increasing D from 0.03 to $0.06h^{-1}$ resulted in decreased digestibilities of dietary DM and OM, but had no effect on digestibilities of dietary starch (p=0.77) and CP (p=0.103). Fermenter pH, the concentration of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and daily VFA production were unaffected (p=0.159-0.517) by S-RDP levels. Molar percentages of acetate, propionate and butyrate were greatly affected by S-RDP levels (p=0.016-0.091), but unaffected by D (p=0.331-0.442). With increasing S-RDP levels and D, daily bacterial counts, daily microbial N production (DMNP) and microbial efficiency (MOEFF; grams of microbial N produced per kilogram of OM truly digested) were enhanced (p=0.001). The increased microbial efficiency with increasing S-RDP levels is probably the result of peptides or amino acids that served as a stimulus for optimal protein synthesis. The quantity of ruminal degradable protein from soy proteins required for optimum protein synthesis of non-structural carbohydrate-fermenting microbes appears to be equivalent to 9.5% of dietary fermented OM.


Rumen Microbial Growth;Ruminal Degradable Protein;Dilution Rate;Continuous Culture


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China

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