Amino Acid Profiles of Tropical Legumes, Cooper (Glycine wightii), Tinaroo (Neonotonia wightii) and Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum), at Pre-blooming and Blooming Stages

  • Received : 2005.07.17
  • Accepted : 2005.12.09
  • Published : 2006.05.01


An experiment was conducted to investigate amino acid composition of three tropical legumes (Cooper (Glycine wightii), Tinaroo (Neonotonia wightii) and Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum)) at two different stages (pre-blooming and blooming stages). Chemical composition and totally 16 amino acids of these plants were analysed for comparison of their composition among species at different growing stages and characterizing the amino acid pattern of these legumes. Crude protein content of the plants ranged from 16% to 27% on a dry matter basis. The total amount of 16 amino acids analyzed in this experiment was highest at 89.7 mg/16 g N in Cooper at pre-blooming and lowest at 80.9 mg/16 g N in Glycine at blooming stage. Total amount of amino acids in each legume species tended to slightly decrease with their maturity but no statistical difference was found. The percentage of aspartic acid, glutamic acid and proline in the total amount of amino acids was dominant at 9% to 13%, and that of methionine was less than 1.6%. In this experiment it was concluded that three tropical legumes were rich in crude protein content and characterized by 16 different amino acids with lower sulfur-containing amino acid as methionine.


  1. Church, D. C. and W. G. Pond. 1974. Basic animal nutrition and feeding. 3rd Ed. John Wiley and Sons, New York
  2. Goering, H. K. and P. J. Van Soest. 1970. Agriculture Handbook (USDA) No. 379
  3. Hogan, J. P. 1973. Intestinal digestion of subterranean clover by sheep. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 24:587-598
  4. Kitamura, Y. 1984. Performance of tropical pasture legumes grown in south-western islands of Japan. VI. The comparative digestible dry matter production of mixtures of Siratro and some tropical grasses. J. Japan. Grassl. Sci. 30:6-12 (In Japanese with English summary)
  5. Hylin, J. W. 1964. Biosynthesis of mimosine. Phytochem. 3:161- 164
  6. Kitamura, Y. and J. Abe. 1984. Relative drought sensitivity of tropical pasture legumes. J. Japan. Grassl. Sci. 30:122-130 (In Japanese with English summary)
  7. Coelho da Silva, J. F., R. C. Seeley, D. E. Beever, J. H. D. Prescott and D. G. Armstrong. 1972. The effect in sheep of physical form and stage of growth on sites of digestion of a dried grass. 2. Sites of nitrogen digestion. Br. J. Nutr. 28:357-371
  8. Miller, E. L. 1982. Method of assessing proteins for ruminants, including laboratory methods. In: Protein contribution of feedstuffs for ruminants: application to feed formulation (Ed. E. L. Miller and I. H. Pike). Butterworth Scientific, London. pp. 18-35
  9. Snedecor, G. W. and W. G. Cochran. 1989. Statistical Methods, 8th Ed., Iowa State University, Iowa
  10. Ekpenyong, T. E. 1986. Nutrient and amino acid composition of Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de wit. Anim. Feed Sci. Technol. 15:183-187
  11. Hitachi user's guide. 1984. Practical procedure for amino acid analysis. Hitachi Co. Ltd. (In Japanese)
  12. Minson, D. J. 1990. Forage in ruminant nutrition. Academic Press, Inc., California
  13. NAS. 1977. Leucaena: promising forage and tree crop for the tropics. National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC. 1- 115
  14. Singlton, V. L., E. T. Mertz and R. L. Davis. 1952. The hydrolysis and amino acid assay of alfalfa, and the methionine range in 100 selections. Agron. J. 44:346-348
  15. Mecha, I. and T. A. Adegbola. 1980. Chemical composition of some Southern Nigeria forage eaten by goats. In: Browse in Africa. The Current State of Knowledge (Ed. H. N. LeHouerou). I.L.C.A., Addis Ababa, pp. 303-306
  16. Kellems, R. O. and D. C. Church. 2003. Livestock feeds and feeding. 5th Ed. Prentice-Hall of Japan, Inc., Tokyo
  17. AOAC. 1984. Official Methods of Analysis. 12th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemist, Arlington, Verginia
  18. Harrison, D. G., D. E. Beever, D. J. Thomson and D. J. Osbourne. 1973. The influence of diet upon the quantity and types of amino acids entering and leaving the small intestine of sheep. J. Agric. Sci. 81:391-401
  19. Nakanishi, Y., S. Shimojo, N. Tokita and I. Goto. 1987. Selective grazing of goats on Siratro (Macroptilium atropurpureum) and Rhodes grass (Chloris gayana) pastures. J. Japan. Grassl. Sci. 33:44-49 (In Japanese with English summary)
  20. McMeniman, N. P., A. C. Kondos and I. F. Beale. 1986. Nutritional evaluation of south-west Queensland pastures. III. The amino acid composition of pasture plants in a Mitchell grass association and their digestibility by grazing sheep. Aust. J. Agric. Res. 37:315-322
  21. Orskov, E. R. 1982. Protein nutrition in ruminants. Academic Press, London