Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

Rumen Related Abstracts

3 Rumen Epithelium Development of Bovine Fetuses and Newborn Calves

Authors: Juliana Shimara Pires Ferrão, Letícia Palmeira Pinto, Francisco Palma Rennó, Francisco Javier Hernandez Blazquez


The ruminant stomach is a complex and multi-chambered organ. Although the true stomach (abomasum) is fully differentiated and functional at birth, the same does not occur with the rumen chamber. At this moment, rumen papillae are small or nonexistent. The papillae only fully develop after weaning and during calf growth. Papillae development and ruminal epithelium specialization during the fetus growth and at birth must be two interdependent processes that will prepare the rumen to adapt to ruminant adult feeding. The microscopic study of rumen epithelium at these early phases of life is important to understand how this structure prepares the rumen to deal with the following weaning processes and its functional activation. Samples of ruminal mucosa of bovine fetuses (110- and 150 day-old) and newborn calves were collected (dorsal and ventral portions) and processed for light and electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry. The basal cell layer of the stratified pavimentous epithelium present in different ruminal portions of the fetuses was thicker than the same portions of newborn calves. The superficial and intermediate epithelial layers of 150 day-old fetuses were thicker than those found in the other 2 studied ages. At this age (150 days), dermal papillae begin to invade the intermediate epithelial layer which gradually disappears in newborn calves. At birth, the ruminal papillae project from the epithelial surface, probably by regression of the epithelial cells (transitory cells) surrounding the dermal papillae. The PCNA cell proliferation index (%) was calculated for all epithelial samples. Fetuses 150 day-old showed increased cell proliferation in basal cell layer (Dorsal Portion: 84.2%; Ventral Portion: 89.8%) compared to other ages studied. Newborn calves showed an intermediate index (Dorsal Portion: 65.1%; Ventral Portion: 48.9%), whereas 110 day-old fetuses had the lowest proliferation index (Dorsal Portion: 57.2%; Ventral Portion: 20.6%). Regarding the transitory epithelium, 110 day-old fetuses showed the lowest proliferation index (Dorsal Portion: 44.6%; Ventral Portion: 20.1%), 150 day-old fetuses showed an intermediate proliferation index (Dorsal Portion: 57.5%; Ventral Portion: 71.1%) and newborn calves presented a higher proliferation index (Dorsal Portion: 75.1%; Ventral Portion: 19.6%). Under TEM, the 110- and 150 day-old fetuses presented thicker and poorly organized basal cell layer, with large nuclei and dense cytoplasm. In newborn calves, the basal cell layer was more organized and with fewer layers, but typically similar in both regions of the rumen. For the transitory epithelium, fetuses displayed larger cells than those found in newborn calves with less electrondense cytoplasm than that found in the basal cells. The ruminal dorsal portion has an overall higher cell proliferation rate than the ventral portion. Thus we can infer that the dorsal portion may have a higher cell activity than the ventral portion during ruminal development. Moreover, the basal cell layer is thicker in the 110- and 150 day-old fetuses than in the newborn calves. The transitory epithelium, which is much reduced, at birth may have a structural support function of the developing dermal papillae. When it regresses or is sheared off, the papillae are “carved out” from the surrounding epithelial layer.

Keywords: Bovine, Calf, TEM, fetus, immunohistochemistry, hematoxylin-eosin, epithelium, Rumen

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2 Inventory of Local Forages in Indonesia That Potentially Reduce Methane (CH4) Emissions and Increase Productivity in Ruminants

Authors: Amriana Hifizah, Philip Edward Vercoe, Graeme Bruce Martin, Teuku Reza Ferasy, Muhammad Hambal


Many native forage plant species have been used in Indonesia as feed for ruminants. However, less information is available about how these plants affect productivity, let alone methane emissions. In the province of Aceh, where the traditional practice is to feed local forages to small ruminants, the farmers are not satisfied with the productivity of their livestock, and they attribute this problem to poor availability and too few options for good quality forages. Forage quality is reduced by high environmental temperatures which increase the amount of lignification. In addition to reducing productivity, these factors also increase enteric methane production. A preliminary survey about potential forage species was completed in three different districts, two of low elevation and one of high elevation: Syiah Kuala (05°30’5.08” N to 095°24’7.35” E), elevation 29 m MSL; Kajhu (05°32’34.6” N to 095°21’17.7” E), elevation 30 m MSL; Lembah Seulawah (05°28'06.4" N to 095°43' 14.2" E), elevation 254 m MSL. Information about local plants was collected in a semi-structured interview with scientists, government field officers and local farmers, in the city of Banda Aceh and in those three districts. The outcome was a list 40 species that could be useful, of which 21 were selected for further study. The selection process was based on several criteria: high availability, high protein content, low toxicity, and evidence of secondary metabolites (eg, history of medicinal plants for both human and animals). For some of the selected medicinal plants, there is experimental evidence of effects on methane production during rumen fermentation. Subsequently, the selected forages were tested for their effects on rumen fermentation in vitro, using batch culture. The data produced will be used to identify forages with the potential to reduce CH4 emissions. These candidates will then be assessed for their benefits (fermentability and productivity) and potential deleterious side-effects.

Keywords: methane, forage, Rumen, batch culture

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1 Direct Fed Microbes: A Better Approach to Maximize Utilization of Roughages in Tropical Ruminants

Authors: Muhammad Adeel Arshad, Shaukat Ali Bhatti, Faiz-ul Hassan


Manipulating microbial ecosystem in the rumen is considered as an important strategy to optimize production efficiency in ruminants. In the past, antibiotics and synthetic chemical compounds have been used for the manipulation of rumen fermentation. However, since the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics has been banned, efforts are being focused to search out safe alternative products. In tropics, crop residues and forage grazing are major dietary sources for ruminants. Poor digestibility and utilization of these feedstuffs by animals is a limiting factor to exploit the full potential of ruminants in this area. Hence, there is a need to enhance the utilization of these available feeding resources. One of the potential strategies in this regard is the use of direct-fed microbes. Bacteria and fungi are mostly used as direct-fed microbes to improve animal health and productivity. Commonly used bacterial species include lactic acid-producing and utilizing bacteria (Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, Bifidobacterium, and Bacillus) and fungal species of yeast are Saccharomyces and Aspergillus. Direct-fed microbes modulate microbial balance in the gastrointestinal tract through the competitive exclusion of pathogenic species and favoring beneficial microbes. Improvement in weight gain and feed efficiency has been observed as a result of feeding direct-fed bacteria. The use of fungi as a direct-fed microbe may prevent excessive production of lactate and harmful oxygen in the rumen leading to better feed digestibility. However, the mechanistic mode of action for bacterial or fungal direct-fed microbes has not been established yet. Various reports have confirmed an increase in dry matter intake, milk yield, and milk contents in response to the administration of direct-fed microbes. However, the application of a direct-fed microbe has shown variable responses mainly attributed to dosages and strains of microbes. Nonetheless, it is concluded that the inclusion of direct-fed microbes may mediate the rumen ecosystem to manage lactic acid production and utilization in both clinical and sub-acute rumen acidosis.

Keywords: Production, Fermentation, Microbes, Feed Efficiency, Rumen, roughages

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