Effects of Xylanase Supplementation on Growth Performance, Nutrient Digestibility and Non-starch Polysaccharide Degradation in Different Sections of the Gastrointestinal Tract of Broilers Fed Wheat-based Diets

  • Zhang, L. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Synergetic Innovation Center of Food Safety and Nutrition, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Xu, J. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Synergetic Innovation Center of Food Safety and Nutrition, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Lei, L. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Synergetic Innovation Center of Food Safety and Nutrition, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Jiang, Y. (Ginling College, Nanjing Normal University) ;
  • Gao, F. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Synergetic Innovation Center of Food Safety and Nutrition, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhou, G.H. (College of Animal Science and Technology, Synergetic Innovation Center of Food Safety and Nutrition, Nanjing Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2014.01.03
  • Accepted : 2014.02.15
  • Published : 2014.06.01


This experiment was performed to investigate the effects of exogenous xylanase supplementation on performance, nutrient digestibility and the degradation of non-starch polysaccharides (NSP) in different sections of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of broilers fed wheat-based diets. A total of 120 7-day-old Arbor Acres broiler chicks were randomly allotted to two wheat-based experimental diets supplemented with 0 or 1.0 g/kg xylanase. Each treatment was composed of 6 replicates with 10 birds each. Diets were given to the birds from 7 to 21 days of age. The results showed that xylanase supplementation did not affect feed intake, but increased body weight gain of broiler at 21 day of age by 5.8% (p<0.05) and improved feed-to-gain ratio by 5.0% (p<0.05). Xylanase significantly increased (p<0.05) ileal digestibilities of crude protein (CP) by 3.5%, starch by 9.3%, soluble NSP by 43.9% and insoluble NSP by 42.2% relative to the control group, respectively. Also, compared with the control treatment, xylanase addition increased (p<0.05) total tract digestibilities of dry matter by 5.7%, CP by 4.1%, starch by 6.3%, soluble NSP by 50.8%, and had a tendency to increase (p = 0.093) insoluble NSP by 19.9%, respectively. The addition of xylanase increased the concentrations of arabinose and xylose in the digesta of gizzard, duodenum, jejunum, and ileum (p<0.05), and the order of their concentration was ileum>jejunum>duodenum>>gizzard> caecum. The supplementation of xylanse increased ileal isomaltriose concentration (p<0.05), but did not affect the concentrations of isomaltose, panose and 1-kestose in the digesta of all GIT sections. These results suggest that supplementation of xylanase to wheat-based diets cuts the arabinoxylan backbone into small fragments (mainly arabinose and xylose) in the ileum, jejunum and duodenum, and enhances digestibilites of nutrients by decreasing digesta viscosity. The release of arabinose and xylose in the small intestine may also be the important contributors to the growth-promoting effect of xylanase in broilers fed wheat-based diets.


Xylanase;Broiler;Performance;Digestibility;Non-starch Polysaccharide Degradation


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