Influence of ciliate protozoa on biochemical changes and hydrolytic enzyme profile in the rumen ecosystem.

Journal of applied microbiology

PubMedID: 11972682

Santra A, Karim SA. Influence of ciliate protozoa on biochemical changes and hydrolytic enzyme profile in the rumen ecosystem. J Appl Microbiol. 2002;92(5):801-11.
AIMS
To assess the effect of presence or absence of rumen protozoa on fermentation characteristics and enzyme profile in growing lambs.

METHODS AND RESULTS
Weaner lambs (G1, G2, G3, G4, G5 and G6 groups) were defaunated by oral administration of sodium laurel sulphate (at 8 g 100 kg(-1) body weight). The lambs of G4, G5 and G6 groups were refaunated. The roughage and concentrate ratio in the diet of G1 and G4, G2 and G5, and G3 and G6 were 50:50 (R1), 65:35 (R2) and 80:20 (R3), respectively. Daily dry matter intake was similar in defaunated and faunated lambs. However, digestibility of organic matter (OM), cellulose and gross energy were lower in defaunated lambs while crude protein (CP) digestibility was similar in both defaunated and faunated lambs. The rumen pH and NH3-N were lower (P < 0.01) while TVFA, total-N and TCA-ppt-N were higher (P < 0.01), in defaunated lambs. Ruminal activity of carboxymethyl cellulase was lower (P < 0.01) in defaunated lambs and amylase, xylanase, protease and urease were similar in faunated and defaunated lambs. Nutrient utilization, rumen metabolites and ciliate protozoal count were higher, whereas digestibility of fibre fractions was lower in high rather than low concentrate fed lambs. The rumen protozoa present before defaunation were B-type and the protozoa which re-established on refaunation were also B-type.

CONCLUSIONS
Absence of ciliate protozoa decreased nutrient digestibility and increased ruminal TVFA and total-N with lower NH3-N concentration, indicating better energy and protein utilization in defaunated lambs.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY
Defaunation improved energy and protein utilization in lambs.