Comparison of In Vitro Digestion Kinetics of Cup-Plant and Alfalfa

  • Han, K.J. (Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison) ;
  • Albrecht, K.A. (Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison) ;
  • Mertens, D.R. (USDA-ARS, US. Dairy Forage Res. Center) ;
  • Kim, D.A. (School of Agric. Biotechnol., Seoul Natl. Univ.)
  • Received : 1999.12.30
  • Accepted : 2000.01.29
  • Published : 2000.05.01


In vitro true digestibility of cup-plant (Silphium perfoliatum L.) is higher than other alternative forages and comparative to alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) even at the high neutral detergent fiber (NDF) concentration. This study was conducted to determine whether the digestion kinetic parameters of cup-plant could explain high in vitro true digestibility of cup-plant at the several NDF levels. Cup-plant and alfalfa were both collected in Arlington and Lancaster, Wisconsin to meet the NDF content within 40 to 50% range. The collected samples were incubated with rumen juice to investigate the digestion kinetics at 3, 6, 9, 14, 20, 28, 36, 48, and 72 h. Kinetics was estimated by the model $R=D_0\;e-k(t-L)+U$ where R is residue remaining at time t, and $D_0$ is digestible fraction, k is digestion rate constant, L is discrete lag time, and U is indigestible fraction. Parameters of the model were estimated by the direct nonlinear least squares (DNLS) method. Digestion rate and potential extent of digestion were not statistically different in either forage. However, alfalfa had shorter lag time (p<0.05). The indigestible fraction increased with maturation in alfalfa and in cup-plant (p<0.05). The ratio of indigestible fraction to acid detergent lignin (ADL) was higher in cup-plant than in alfalfa (p<0.05). From the results, alfalfa is probably digested more rapidly than cup-plant, however, cup-plant maintains higher digestibility with maturation due to a relatively slower increase of indigestible fraction in NDF.

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