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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2005;18(12): 1746-1751.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2005.1746    Published online December 2, 2005.
Sarsaponin Effects on Ruminal Fermentation and Microbes, Methane Production, Digestibility and Blood Metabolites in Steers
Zeenat Ara Lila, Nazimuddin Mohammed, Shuhei Kanda, Mitsunori Kurihara, Hisao Itabashi
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of sarsaponin on methane production, ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestion and blood metabolites using three Holstein steers in a 3횞3 Latin Square design. The steers were fed Sudangrass hay plus concentrate mixture at a ratio 1.5:1 twice daily, and sarsaponin (0, 0.5 and 1% of DM), which was given at 09:00 and 17:00 h daily by mixing with concentrate. Rumen samples were collected 0, 2, and 5 h after morning dosing. Ruminal pH was numerically decreased and numbers of protozoa were decreased linearly (p<0.01) by treatment. Ruminal ammonia-N was reduced (linear; p<0.05) and total VFA was increased (quadratic; p<0.05) at 2 and 5 h after sarsaponin dosing. The molar proportion of acetate was decreased (quadratic; p<0.05) and propionate was increased (linear; p<0.01) at all sampling times. Blood plasma glucose was increased and urea-N was decreased (linear; p<0.05) at 2 and 5 h after dosing. Methane was decreased by approximately 12.7% (linear; p<0.05). The apparent digestibility of DM and NDF were decreased (quadratic; p<0.05) and that of CP remained unchanged due to the sarsaponin. The numbers of cellulolytic bacteria were decreased (quadratic; p<0.05), while numbers of total viable bacteria remained unchanged due to the sarsaponin. These results show that sarsaponin can partially inhibit rumen methanogenesis in vivo and improve ruminal fermentation, which supports our previous in vitro results.
Keywords: Digestibility; Methane Production; Ruminal Fermentation; Saponin; Yucca schidigera

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