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Changes in mixed microbial inoculums to prevent the toxic side-effects in cattle grazing new varieties of Leucaena.

Ouwerkerk, D., Gravel, J. L., Maguire, A. J., Minchin, C. M., Klieve, A.V. and Gilbert, R. A. (2021) Changes in mixed microbial inoculums to prevent the toxic side-effects in cattle grazing new varieties of Leucaena. In: 33rd Australian Association of Animal Sciences Conference, 1-3 February 2021, Fremantle, Western Australia.



Leucaena leucocephala is a legume fodder crop that grows in tropical and subtropical environments. Leucaena provides a high quality feed for cattle boosting liveweight gain both per animal and per hectare, improving profitability for steer turnover by 121% compared with the base scenario of grazing buffel grass (Bowen and Chudleigh, 2018). A number of commercial leucaena cultivars, Cunningham, Peru, Taramba, El Salvadore, and Wondergraze, are used in Queensland. Leucaena contains a toxic amino acid, mimosine, which many rumen bacteria can degrade to a toxic metabolite 3-hydroxy-4-(1H)-pyridone (DHP). Productivity from leucaena-pasture can be reduced by DHP-induced depressions in intake. A DHP degrading bacterium, Synergistes jonesii was isolated from a mixed bacterial population isolated from a goat from Hawaii (Allison et al., 1992). For over twenty years DAF has provided a mixed bacterial rumen inoculum, containing S. jonesii, for cattle grazing Leucaenapastures, produced in an in vitro fermentation system with Cunningham cultivar as the feed source. All of the commercial cultivars are susceptible to attack by psyllid insects, limiting their use in higher rainfall areas - to address this limitation, a commercial psyllid-resistant cultivar, Redlands, was released in 2019. To assess if the leucaena inoculum is impacted by Redland’s anti-psyllid, chemical characteristics a series of 30 day in vitro anaerobic fermentations were undertaken feeding either Redlands, Cunningham or Wondergraze cultivars. The fermentations were conducted following the method of Klieve et al. (2002). Fermentations were started with either cryopreserved leuceana inoculum from a single day of a production fermentation; or day 30 of a Wondergraze or Redlands fermentation. Daily samples were taken and assays set up on days 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 to monitor the fermentation’s ability to break down mimosine, 3,4 DHP and 2,3 DHP. Genomic DNA extracted from daily samples was used in a S. jonesii quantitative PCR and for barcoded amplicon sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene V3 –V4 region using the Illumina MiSeq platform.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Animal culture > Cattle
Veterinary medicine > Veterinary microbiology
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Animal culture > Feeds and feeding. Animal nutrition
Live Archive:25 Feb 2021 04:46
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:46

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