Unprotected choline chloride in a dual-flow continuous culture system improves propionate concentration from low NDF diets.
A. Arce-Cordero1, H. F. Monteiro1, A. L. Lelis1, V. L. N. Brandao1, H. Phillips1, B. Barton2, and A. P. Faciola1 . 1Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville and 2Balchem Corporation, New York
Choline may be degraded to trimethylamine and methane by ruminal microbes; however, its effects on ruminal fermentation are still uncertain. Due to its final degradation to methane, we hypothesized that unprotected choline chloride effects on ruminal fermentation would depend on dietary NDF concentration. We used 8 fermenters of a dual-flow continuous culture system in a 4×4 duplicated Latin-square with a 2×2 factorial arrangement; factors being: choline chloride supplementation (0 and 2.5 g/kg DM) and dietary NDF% (30 and 40). Resulting treatments were: 1) 30% NDF + choline; 2) 30% NDF, no choline; 3) 40% NDF + choline, 4) 40% NDF, no choline. Basal diets (30 and 40% NDF) were fed at 0800 and 1800, and choline chloride was supplemented 4 times/d. Each experimental period lasted for 10 d (7 d adaptation, 3 d sample collection). At 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 h post morning feeding, pH was measured and samples collected for kinetics of pH, VFA, and NH3-N. Also, one sample of pooled digesta effluents was collected before morning feeding for pooled daily VFA and NH3-N concentrations. Main effects of choline supplementation (Cho), dietary NDF% (NDF), and their interaction (Cho*NDF) were tested for all response variables. Effect of time (h post feeding) was considered for kinetics and data analyzed as repeated measures. For VFA daily pool, acetate % was reduced due to choline supplementation (P = 0.03) regardless of dietary NDF%. However, only when 30% NDF diet was fed, choline supplementation was able to increase propionate % (P = 0.006), and decrease both isobutyrate % (P = 0.02) and acetate:propionate ratio (P = 0.04). For kinetics analysis, no effect of choline supplementation was found on pH and NH3-N. However, addition of choline tended to decrease acetate:propionate (P = 0.1). Additionally, propionate % tended to increase only when choline was added to 30% NDF diet (P = 0.09). Our results suggest that feeding unprotected choline chloride at 2.5 g/kg DM may enhance efficiency of VFA synthesis, particularly when supplemented to lower NDF rations.
Key Words: in vitro, ruminal fermentation, fiber
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