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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Sep;89(3):442-51.

Effects of lactic acid bacteria in inoculants on changes in amino acid composition during ensilage of sterile and non-sterile ryegrass.

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IGER, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystwyth, UK.


A study was carried out on the changes occurring in the amino acid fraction of a hybrid ryegrass during ensilage in laboratory-scale silos to help to establish the relative roles of plant and microbial proteases on protein degradation in the silo. Herbage treatments included (i) normal grass without treatment (ii) lambda-irradiated grass (sterile) without treatment (iii) sterile, inoculated with a strain of Lactobacillus plantarum and (iv) sterile, inoculated with a strain of Lactobacillus paracasei subsp. paracasei. These treatments had a significant effect on silage amino acid profiles. Concentrations of free amino acids and the extent of amino acid catabolism varied with treatment. However, levels were notably higher in control silages after 90 days (free amino acid nitrogen constituting 54% of total amino acid nitrogen compared with 37, 32 and 22% for treatments i, ii and iv, respectively). These results indicate that the extent of protein hydrolysis during ensilage is influenced by factors other than rate of pH decline and plant protease activity, and that microbial proteases play a role.

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