Assessment of mulberry leaf as a potential feed supplement for animal feeding in P.R. China

  • Cai, Ming (State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agricultural Science and Technology, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Mu, Lan (State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agricultural Science and Technology, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Wang, Zong-li (State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, College of Pastoral Agricultural Science and Technology, Lanzhou University) ;
  • Liu, Jian-yong (Yunnan Academy of Grassland and Animal Science) ;
  • Liu, Tian-liang (Yunnan Academy of Grassland and Animal Science) ;
  • Wanapat, Metha (Tropical Feed Resources Research and Development Center, Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen University) ;
  • Huang, Bi-zhi (Yunnan Academy of Grassland and Animal Science)
  • Received : 2018.09.06
  • Accepted : 2018.12.14
  • Published : 2019.08.01


Objective: Mulberry (Morus alba L.) is a cultivated shrub grown widely in the sub-tropical and tropical areas. It has been shown that mulberry leaf contains high levels of protein while having polyphenols as phytonutrients. Therefore, it is important to conduct an experiment to assess potential toxic level from mulberry on behavior, blood hematological and coagulation parameter using Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats. Methods: Both male and female SD rats were given an intragastric administration of respective treatments of mulberry leaf intakes (control, low and high levels). Parameters of feed intake, hematological and coagulation of blood parameters, as well as liveweight changes were taken during the 7 d of adaptation, 28 d of treatment exposure, and 14 d of recovery periods, respectively. All treatment data were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance of SPSS17.0 for Windows Statistical Software following the Randomized complete block design with sex as a block. Results: Most of the parameters of the physical symptoms of the SD rats, were not significantly different (p>0.05) when compared with that of the control group. Those which remain unchanged in each dose group were, body weight (BW) gain, feed intake, the hematology and coagulation indexes. Although, there were a few individual indicators that were abnormal, but the overall physiological appearance of the rats were normal. Conclusion: Results under this experiment revealed that most hematological and coagulation parameters of the SD rats in both male and female were normal, although the weight gain of female rats in high-dose group was significantly reduced than those of the male rats. Under this study, the use of mulberry leaf up to 2 g/kg BW did not result in abnormal phenomenon in the SD rats. These findings would offer useful information for further in vivo feeding trials in animals to extensively use of mulberry leaf to improve animal production, particularly in P.R. China.


Supported by : China Agriculture Research System


  1. Li RX, Li RF, Chen DD, et al. Mildew resistance Locus O gene cloning, characterization, and expression pattern in mulberry (Morus multicaulis) and its prokaryotic expression in E. coli. Russ J Bioorgan Chem 2018;44:104-11.
  2. Liu XQ, Zhu JJ, Wei CJ, et al. Genome-wide identification and characterization of the DREB transcription factor gene family in inmulberry. Biol Plant 2015;59:253-65.
  3. Singhal BK, Khan MA, Dhar A, Baqual FM, Bindroo BB. Approaches to industrial exploitation of mulberry (Mulberry sp.) fruits. J Fruit Ornam Plant Res 2010;18:83-99.
  4. Boubaya A, Marzougui N, Ferchichi A, Salah MB. Morphological and chemical diversity among South Tunisian mulberry tree (Morus spp.) cultivars. Acta Bot Gallica 2011;158:375-85.
  5. Ercisli S, Orhan E. Chemical composition of white (Morus alba), red (Morus rubra) and black (Morus nigra) mulberry fruits. Food Chem 2007;103:1380-4.
  6. Zerga NJC, Clement WL, Datwyler SL, Weiblen GD. Biogeography and divergence times in the mulberry family (Moraceae). Mol Phylogenet Evol 2005;37:402-16.
  7. Guan YT, Li Y. Fabrication of cotton nano-powder and its textile application. Chin Sci Bull 2008;53:3735-40.
  8. Eadie L, Ghosh TK. Biomimicry in textiles: past, present and potential. An overview. J R Soc Interface 2011;8:761-75.
  9. Ji T, Li J, Su SL, et al. Identification and determination of the polyhydroxylated alkaloids compounds with ${\alpha}$-glucosidase inhibitor activity in mulberry leaves of different origins. Molecules 2016;21:206.
  10. Kojima Y, Kimura T, Nakagawa K, et al. Effects of mulberry leaf extract rich in 1-deoxynojirimycin on blood lipid profiles in humans. J Clin Biochem Nutr 2010;47:155-61.
  11. Zou YX, Liao ST, Shen WZ, et al. Phenolics and antioxidant activity of mulberry leaves depend on cultivar and harvest month in Southern China. Int J Mol Sci 2012;13:16544-53.
  12. Katsube T, Imawaka N, Kawano Y, Yamazaki Y, Shiwaku K, Yamane Y. Antioxidant flavonol glycosides in mulberry (Morus alba L.) leaves isolated based on LDL antioxidant activity. Food Chem 2006;97:25-31.
  13. Liu JX, Yao J, Yan B, Yu JQ, Shi ZQ. Effects of mulberry leaves to replace rapeseed meal on performance of sheep feeding on ammoniated rice straw diet. Small Rumin Res 2001;39:131-6.
  14. Wang C, Yang FY, Wang QG, et al. Nutritive value of mulberry leaf meal and its effect on the performance of 35-70-day-old geese. J Poult Sci 2017;54:41-6.
  15. Kandylis K, Hadjigeorgiou I, Harizanis P. The nutritive value of mulberry leaves (Morus alba) as a feed supplement for sheep. Trop Anim Health Prod 2009;41:17-24.
  16. Han CK, Kim SS, Choi SY, Park JH, Lee BH. Effects of rice added with mulberry leaves and fruit on blood glucose, body fat and serum lipid levels in rats. J Korean Soc Food Sci Nutr 2009;38:1336-41.
  17. Lim HH, Yang SJ, Kim Y, Lee M, Lim Y. Combined treatment of mulberry leaf and fruit extract ameliorates obesity-related inflammation and oxidative stress in high fat diet-induced obese mice. J Med Food 2013;16:673-80.
  18. Oku T, Yamada M, Nakamura M, Sadamori N, Nakamura S. Inhibitory effects of extractives from leaves of Morus alba on human and rat small intestinal disaccharidase activity. Br J Nutr 2006;95:933-8.
  19. Leterme P, Londono AM, Estrada F, Souffrant WB, Buldgen A. Chemical composition, nutritive value and voluntary intake of tropical tree foliage and cocoyam in pigs. J Sci Food Agric 2005;85:1725-32.
  20. Hong X, Ding XW, Huang XZ, et al. Determination of the content of three bioactive substances in mulberry leaves of different varieties. Sci Seric 2013;39:1145-9. (In Chinese)
  21. Wanapat M, Kang S, Polyorach S. Development of feeding systems and strategies of supplementation to enhance rumen fermentation and ruminant production in the tropics. J Anim Sci Biotechnol 2013;4:32.
  22. Saddul D, Jelan ZA, Liang JB, Halim RA. Evaluation of mulberry (Morus alba) as potential feed supplement for ruminants: The effect of plant maturity on in situ disappearance and in vitro intestinal digestibility of plant fractions. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2005;18:1569-74.
  23. Yulistiani D, Jelan ZA, Liang JB, Yaakub H, Abdullah N. Effects of supplementation of mulberry (Morus alba) foliage and urea-rice bran as fermentable energy and protein sources in sheep fed urea-treated rice straw based diet. Asian-Australas J Anim Sci 2015;28:494-501.
  24. Sohn HY, Son KH, Kwon CS, Kwon GS, Kang SS. Antimicrobial and cytotoxic activity of 18 prenylated flavonoids isolated from medicinal plants: Morus alba L., Morus mongolica Schneider, Broussnetia papyrifera (L.) Vent, Sophora flavescens Ait and Echinosophora koreensis Nakai. Phytomedicine 2004;11:666-72.
  25. Asano N, Yamashita T, Yasuda K, et al. Polyhydroxylated alkaloids isolated from mulberry trees (Morus alba L.) and silkworms (Bombyx mori L.). J Agric Food Chem 2011;49:4208-13.
  26. Feng RZ, Wang Q, Tong WZ, et al. Extraction and antioxidant activity of flavonoids of Morus nigra. Int J Clin Exp Med 2015;8:22328-36.
  27. Zheng SQ, Liao ST, Zou YX, Qu Z, Shen WZ, Shi Y. Mulberry leaf polyphenols delay aging and regulate fat metabolism via the germline signaling pathway in Caenorhabditis elegans. AGE 2014;36:9719.
  28. Nwosu LC, Adedire CQ, Ogunwolu EO, Ashamo MO. Toxicological and histopathological effects of Dennettia tripetala seed used as grain protectant, food, and medicine. Food Qual Saf 2017;1:211-20.
  29. Huyen NT, Wanapat M, Navanukraw C. Effect of mulberry leaf pellet (MUP) supplementation on rumen fermentation and nutrient digestibility in beef cattle fed on rice straw-based diets. Anim Feed Sci Technol 2012;175:8-15.