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Influence of Northern German Moulds and Anorganic Salts on Ruminal Cellulase Activity (in vitro)

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 1
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica200344 (Suppl 1) :P132

  • Published:


  • Cellulose
  • Cellulase
  • Thiamine
  • Wide Spread
  • Control Period

Non ruminants lack cellulolytic enzymes. That's why they 're not able to digest cellulose. Cellulases however are wide spread in microorganisms. Living in symbiosis with ruminal microbes like bacteria, protozoa and fungi, ruminants can metabolize cellulose and use it energetically. Cellulose is build up by glucose elements connected β-glycosically and is metabolized to glucose by exo- and endocellulase and cellobiose. Cellulases can be influenced positively and negatively.

The aim of these experiments was to test the influence of moulded hay on the one hand and that of anorganic salts on the other hand on ruminal cellulolytic activity (CA, in vitro, RUSITEC). The moulds used were harvested from pastures in Northern Germany where several cattle of different herds which showed the clinical signs of CCN and responded well to thiamine application. Since the grass was overgrown with rust and other fungi we tested the influence of those fungi (Alternaria alternata -AA, Epicoccum nigrum -EN, Mucor racemosus -MR, Fusarium graminearum -FG, F. poae -FP, F. culmorum -FC, Cladosporium herbarum -CH or Ulocladium chartarum -UC) on the one hand and that of anorganic salts (MgO, Na2SO4 and Na2SO3 as constituents of fertiliers) on the other hand on the ruminal cellulases.

Five investigation periods lasting about 23 days each were carried out. After a control period of nine days a five day testphase followed. During this time two vessels were charged normally and two with moulded hay (moulded with AA, EN, MR, FG, FP, FC, CH or UC) or with Na2SO4, Na2SO3 or MgO respectively. In the second testphase (five days) daily 0.3 mg thiamine were added. The last days served for regeneration with normal hay. Before feeding the system, rumen fluid was daily taken for the determination of CA [1, 2].

The following effects on the CA could be noted: AA: + 22%, FG: + 18%, FP and FC: -38%, EN, MR, UC, CH:+/- 0%; MgO: + 25%, Na2SO4: -37%, Na2SO3: +/- 0%.

This means that AA, FG obviously have their own CA and FP or FC depending reduction of CA is overcome by thiamine. The latter supports the idea that Fusarium toxins destroy or block a thiamine depending key function of the CA. Furthermore Mg++ as cellulase stimulator is known while it was surprising that Na2SO3 had no influence. May be that the increased fermentation (4 h) after supplementation destroyed the inhibitory effects.

Authors’ Affiliations

Clinic for Cattle Diseases, School of Veterinary Medicine, Bischofsholer Damm 15, D-30173 Hannover, Germany
German Collection of Micoorganisms and Cell Cultures, D-Braunschweig


  1. Krakow L: Untersuchungen (RUSITEC-System) zum Einfluβ von Magnesiumoxid auf Fermentationsvorgänge im Panseninhalt des Rindes. Hannover Tierärztl Hochsch, Diss. 1990Google Scholar
  2. Wolf GA, Wirth aSJ: Application of soluble chromogenic substrates for assays of polysaccharide endohydrolase. Methods in phytobacteriology Ch.III. Akademiai Kiado, Publishing House of Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest. Edited by: Klement Z, Rudolph KaD, Sands C. 1990, 409-413.Google Scholar


© The Author(s); licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2003

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