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Effects of dilution rate and retention time of concentrate on efficiency of microbial growth, methane production, and ruminal fermentation in Rusitec fermenters
- Martínez, M.E., Ranilla, M.J., Ramos, S., Tejido, M.L., Carro, M.D.
- Journal of dairy science 2009 v.92 no.8 pp. 3930-3938
- fermenters, in vitro studies, rumen microorganisms, microbial growth, feed concentrates, alfalfa, methane production, fermentation, temporal variation, dry matter content, in vitro digestibility, neutral detergent fiber, microbial activity, volatile fatty acids, valeric acid, acetic acid, butyric acid, isobutyric acid, lipid metabolism, hexanoic acid, propionic acid, enzyme activity
- The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of 2 dilution rates (DL) and 2 concentrate retention times (RT) on microbial growth, methane production, and fermentation of a 30:70 alfalfa hay:concentrate diet in Rusitec fermenters maintained at similar pH. The DL were 3.78 (low DL, LDL) and 5.42%/h (high DL, HDL), and concentrate RT was either 24 h (T24) or 48 h (T48). Forage RT was 48 h in all fermenters. Apparent disappearance of diet DM and NDF was greater in HDL fermenters compared with LDL fermenters, but there was a significant DL x concentrate RT interaction, showing that the effect of DL was more pronounced in T48 compared with T24 fermenters. Methane production was not affected by DL, but was greater in T48 compared with T24 fermenters, which was consistent with the increased fiber degradation in T48 fermenters. Increasing DL augmented volatile fatty acid production and molar proportions of propionate, isovalerate, and valerate, and reduced those of caproate, but no effects were observed on acetate, butyrate, and isobutyrate proportions. Increasing concentrate RT resulted in greater volatile fatty acid production and proportions of acetate, butyrate, and caproate, but reduced those of propionate, valerate, and isovalerate. Ammonia-N production was not affected by concentrate RT, but was greater at HDL compared with LDL. Microbial growth was not affected by DL, but microbial growth efficiency was lower in HDL compared with LDL fermenters. Concentrate RT affected microbial growth and its efficiency, with both being greater in T48 compared with T24 fermenters. Carboxymetylcellulase and xylanase activities in ruminal fluid were greater in HDL compared with LDL fermenters, but were not affected by concentrate RT. There were DL x concentrate RT interactions for diet apparent disappearance, molar proportions of propionate, butyrate, isovalerate, and caproate, and acetate:propionate ratio, indicating that effects of DL on these variables were influenced by concentrate RT. The results would indicate that using higher DL and shorter concentrate RT than those typically used in Rusitec fermenters would contribute to improving the simulation of in vivo fermentation of high-concentrate diets.