Effect of yeast supplementation on the in vitro fermentatuion of high-temperature dried lucerne incubated with an equine faecal inoculum

Jo-Anne Mary Davina Murray, Annette C. Longland, Catherine Dunnett

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An in vitro gas production (GP) experiment, using equine faeces as the source of inoculum, was conducted to assess the effect of a yeast preparation (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) on the fermentation of high-temperature dried lucerne. The experiment was a factorial design consisting of six levels of yeast supplementation of high-temperature dried lucerne; 0 g yeast g−1 (L0—Control), 2 g yeast g−1 (L1), 4 g yeast g−1 (L2), 8 g yeast g−1 (L3), 16 g yeast g−1 (L4) and 40 g yeast g−1 (L5) herbage added at two time points; time 0 (inoculation) and at hour 14 of the incubation to 4 replicate bottles (5 × 2 × 4). Total GP increased significantly (P<0.01) at the highest level of yeast supplementation (L5; 188 ml) compared to the control (L0) and all other levels of yeast supplementation (averaging 177 ml). Rate parameter values, e.g. fractional rate of degradation (FRGP) and time taken to produce 50 or 95% of the total gas production (T50 and T95, respectively) were all significantly (P<0.05) decreased by the supplementation of lucerne with yeast. Dry matter loss (DML) also decreased significantly (P<0.01) with the addition of yeast to the lucerne (735 vs. 660 for L0 and L5, respectively). The pH increased significantly (P<0.001) with yeast supplementation; however, there was no effect of yeast supplementation on total volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration or VFA molar proportions. In conclusion, the addition of yeast to lucerne appears significantly to reduce the extent (DML) and rate at which lucerne is degraded, which has important implications for the overall energy balance in equids.

DML, dry matter loss; FRGP, fractional rate of gas production; GP, gas production; HT, high-temperature dried; LT, lag time; TG, total gas volume; T50, time taken to reach 50% of the total gas production; T95, time taken to reach 95% of the total gas production; TVFA, total volatile fatty acid; VFA, volatile fatty acid
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-159
Number of pages11
JournalAnimal Feed Science and Technology
Issue number1-2
Early online date18 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2008


  • Equine faecal inoculum
  • Lucerne
  • In vitro fermentation
  • Yeast


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