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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1993 Oct;59(10):3171-6.

In Vitro Stimulation of Forage Fiber Degradation by Ruminal Microorganisms with Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract.

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  • 1Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Clay Center, Nebraska 68933; Plant Science Research Unit and U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center Cluster, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108 ; and U.S. Dairy Forage Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Madison, Wisconsin 53706.


Aspergillus oryzae fermentation extract (Amaferm) was evaluated for its ability to influence degradation of brome grass and switchgrass fiber fractions by mixed ruminal microorganisms in vitro. Addition of Amaferm at a concentration of 0.067 mg/ml, which is approximately the concentration found in the rumen ecosystem (0.06 mg/ml), increased the degradation of brome grass neutral detergent fiber (NDF) by 28% after fermentation for 12 h (P < 0.01), but had no effect after fermentation for 24 or 48 h. The levels of degradation of both the cellulose and hemicellulose fractions were increased after fermentation for 12 h (P < 0.01). Additions of 0.08 and 8% (vol/vol) Amaferm filtrate (12.5 g/100 ml) stimulated degradation of switchgrass NDF by 12 and 24% (P < 0.01), respectively, after fermentation for 12 h; when 80% filtrate was added, degradation was decreased by 38%. The concentrations of total anaerobes in culture tubes containing 80% filtrate were 5 times greater than the concentrations in the controls; however, the concentrations of cellulolytic organisms were 3.5 times lower than the concentrations in the controls (P < 0.05). These results suggested that the filtrate contained high concentrations of soluble substrate which did not allow the cellulolytic organisms to compete well with other populations. The remaining concentrations of esterified p-coumaric and ferulic acids were lower at 12 h in NDF residues obtained from fermentation mixtures supplemented with Amaferm. Because the total anaerobes were not inhibited in fermentation mixtures containing Amaferm, antibiotics are unlikely to be involved as a mode of action for increasing NDF degradation. The possibility that Amaferm contains enzymes (possibly esterases) that may play a role in stimulating the rate of fiber degradation by mixed ruminal microorganisms by removal of plant cell wall phenolic acid esters is discussed.

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