Plant Cell-Wall Degradation and Glycanase Activity of the Rumen Anaerobic Fungus Neocallimastix frontalis MCH3 Grown on Various Forages

  • Fujino, Y. (Dept. of Anatomy & Biology, Osaka Medical College) ;
  • Ushida, K. (Laboratory of Animal Science, Kyoto Prefectural University)
  • Received : 1998.10.10
  • Accepted : 1998.11.10
  • Published : 1999.08.01


Studies were made of digestion of timothy (Pheleum pretense) hay, tall fescue (Festuca elatior) hay, and rice (Oryza sativa) straw in pure cultures of rumen anaerobic fungus, Neocallimastix frontails MCH3. The fungus was inoculated on ground forages (1%, w/v) in an anaerobic medium and incubated at $39^{\circ}C$. Incubation was continued for 24, 48, 72 and 96 h. The losses of dry matter, xylose and glucose of forage during incubation were determined at the end of these incubation periods. Xylose and glucose were considered to be released from xylan and cellulose, respectively. The digested xylan to digested cellulose (X/C) ratios of the substrate were calculated. Xylanase and carboxymethyl cellulose (CMCase) of culture supernatant and residual substrate was measured at the same time. The X/C ratios in the cultures on timothy hay and rice straw were greater than 0.5 in the first 24-h incubation period. The values were smaller than 0.3 in tall fesque. The ratio of xylanase activity to that of CMCase in the first 24-h incubation period correlated well with the traits in X/C ratio. However xylanase activity was still superior to CMCase in the following incubation period (48 to 96 h), although the glucose (designated as cellulose) was more intensively digested than xylose (designated as xylan). The production of these polysaccharidases appeared to correlate with substrate cell-wall sugar composition, xylose to glucose ratios, at the beginning of fast growing period.


Anaerobic Rumen Fungi;Fiber Degradation;Cellulase;Xylanase