Effects of Grass Lipid and Its Fatty Acids on Ruminal Fermentation and Microbial Growth In Vitro

  • Yang, U.M. (Animal Resources Research Center, College of Animal Husbandry, Konkuk University) ;
  • Fujita, H. (Department of Animal Production, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine) ;
  • Chung, T.Y. (Animal Resources Research Center, College of Animal Husbandry, Konkuk University)
  • Received : 1999.02.25
  • Accepted : 1999.04.28
  • Published : 2000.02.01


In order to clarify the inhibitory effects of orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.) lipids on ruminal fermentation and digestion, two experiments were carried out in vitro. Experiment 1 was carried out using residues of grass hay from which the lipid fraction was removed by ether extraction. To ground grass samples were added 0, 1.5, 3.0, 4.5 and 6.0% lipids and incubated anaerobically at $39^{\circ}C$ for 24 h, with the mixtures of artificial saliva and rumen fluid. Increasing grass lipid levels remarkably reduced DM and NDF disappearances. Volatile fatty acid concentration was significantly reduced at 3.0, 4.5 and 6.0% lipid levels. Microbial nitrogen proportion to total nitrogen tended to decrease by the addition of the lipids. These results indicated that grass lipids have a marked inhibitory effect on ruminal fermentation and digestion, especially when to the substrate was added 3% or more grass lipids as ether extracts. Experiment 2 was conducted to study the relationship between changes in the free fatty acids and changes in the fermentation traits. Samples were incubated for 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 and 24 h as a sole substrate. The polyunsaturated fatty acids steadily decreased during incubation, whereas the saturated fatty acid ($C_{18:0}$) increased. It was suggested that the hydrogenation was extended during the initial stage of incubation. The unsaturated fatty acids ($C_{18:2}$, $C_{18:3}$) produced at the initial stage of incubation were negatively correlated with the amount of microbial N and DM disappearance, indicating that polyunsaturated fatty acids had the possibility to show an inhibiting effect on ruminal fermentation and digestion.