Metabolism of soluble rapeseed meal (Brassica rapa L.) protein during incubations with buffered bovine rumen contents in vitro

T. Stefański, S. Ahvenjärvi, P. Huhtanen, K J Shingfield

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7 Citations (SciVal)


Accurate quantitative information on the fate of dietary protein in the rumen is central to modern metabolizable protein systems developed to improve the efficiency of nitrogen utilization in ruminants. An in vitro method was developed to estimate the rate of soluble rapeseed meal (Brassica rapa L.) protein (SRMP) degradation. Unlabeled and (15)N-labeled solvent-extracted rapeseed meal were incubated alone or as an equal mixture (125 mg of N/L) with buffered rumen contents and a mixture of carbohydrates formulated to provide a constant source of fermentable energy during the course of all incubations. Incubations were made over 0.33, 0.67, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 4.0, 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0 h. Enrichment of (14)N and (15)N isotopes in total N of ammonia (AN), soluble nonammonia (SNAN), and insoluble (ISN) fractions liberated during incubations with test proteins was determined. A model with 4 pools that accounted for both intracellular and extracellular N transformations was used to estimate the rate of SRMP degradation. Parameter values used in the model were adjusted based on the size of A(14)N, A(15)N, SNA(14)N, SNA(15)N, IS(14)N, and IS(15)N pools, measured at different time points during incubations with buffered rumen fluid. The mean rate of N degradation for SRMP was estimated at 0.126 (SD 0.0499) h(-1). No substantive difference in the rate of protein degradation or microbial protein synthesis was observed during incubations of labeled and unlabeled substrates with rumen fluid. In conclusion, combined use of data from incubations of unlabeled and (15)N-labeled rapeseed protein with buffered rumen inoculum provided sufficient information to allow for estimation of parameter values in a complex dynamic model of soluble protein degradation. Results indicate the potential of the technique to evaluate the degradability of SNAN of other dietary protein sources and implicate ruminal escape of soluble rapeseed protein as an important source of amino acids in ruminants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-50
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Amino Acids
  • Animal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Animals
  • Brassica rapa
  • Cattle
  • Gastrointestinal Contents
  • Nitrogen
  • Rumen
  • Time Factors
  • Vegetable Proteins


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