Effect of Rumen Protozoa on Nitrogen Utilization by Ruminants

January 1, 1996 Human Health and Nutrition Data 0 Comments

Effect of Rumen Protozoa on Nitrogen Utilization by Ruminants

Year: 1996
Authors: Jouany, J-P.
Publication Name: J. Nutr.
Publication Details: Volume 126; Pages 1335S-1346S


Results obtained during the past decade indicate clearly that protozoa are actively involved in the degradation of dietary and microbial proteins in the rumen. Because of the great ability of protozoa to ingest the participate matter suspended in the rumen, protozoa are more active in degrading insoluble than soluble proteins. This indicates that studies carried out using lysed and sonicated protozoa are not appropriate for quantifying the actual contribution of protozoa to protein degradation in the rumen. In vivo trials have confirmed that duodenal flow of both undegraded dietary protein plus bacterial protein generally is increased by defaunation. The decrease in ruminal ammonia concentration consistently observed after defaunation accounts for the lower urinary nitrogen (N) excretion found in defaunated animals, whereas the increase in fecal N excretion in the same animals probably results from a shift of plant cell wall digestion from the rumen to the large intestine. Total N excretion is not altered significantly by defaunation. A summary of literature data indicates there are contradictory effects of defaunation on ruminant performance. This
implies that animal response to defaunation may depend on the specific nutrient-limiting performance on the one hand and on the modifications of digestion and metabolism resulting from defaunation on the other. Different methods are proposed to either eliminate or decrease the numbers of ruminal protozoa or to alter their makeup. However, none of these approaches has been tested under practical feeding conditions. Author's Abstract.

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