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Ruminant Nutrition and Forage Utilization
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 1988;1(2): 65-71.
https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.1988.65    Published online June 1, 1988.
Colonization of alkali-treated fibrous roughages by anaerobic rumen fungi
T. Wuliji, W. R. McManus
This study reports light and electron microscope examination of rumen fungal colonization of alkali-treated roughage feeds incubated in decron bags in the rumen of cannulated sheep for varying time intervals. Six roughages, pre-treated with ammonium hydroxide or sodium hydroxide at 4% (w/w) level were examined together with untreated control samples. Alkali pre-treatment was associated with an earlier and more pronounced fungal colonization than all control roughages. Sodium hydroxide pre-treatment was significantly more feectine than ammonium hydroxide in improving the susceptibility of roughages to rumen fungal colonization and studies by SEM showed that the pre-treatment permitted greater penetration of feeds by fungi. Sodium hydroxide pre-treatment also significantly increased dry matter disappearance from feed held in Dacron bags in the rumen with all feeds except Lucerne stem. It is not known to what extent fungal activity contributed to increased breakdown of the feeds.
Keywords: Fungi; Roughage; Alkali; Sheep; Colonization; Rumen

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