Ramirez-Bribiesca, J. E., Wang, Y., Jin, L., Canam, T., Town, J. R., Tsang, A., Dumonceaux, T. J. and McAllister, T. A. 2011. Chemical characterization and in vitro fermentation ofBrassicastraw treated with the aerobic fungus,Trametes versicolor. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 91: 695-702. Brassica napus straw (BNS) was either not treated or was treated with two strains of Trametes versicolor; 52J (wild type) or m4D (a cellobiose dehydrogenase-deficient mutant) with four treatments: (i) untreated control (C-BNS), (ii) 52J (B-52J), (iii) m4D (B-m4D) or (iv) m4D glucose (B-m4Dg). Glucose was provided to encourage growth of the mutant strain. All treatments with T. versicolor decreased (P<0.05) neutral-detergent fibre and increased (P<0.05) protein and the concentration of lignin degradation products in straw. Ergosterol was highest (P<0.05) in straw treated with B-52J, suggesting it generated the most fungal biomass. Insoluble lignin was reduced (P<0.05) in straw treated with B-52J and B-m4D, but not with B-m4Dg. Mannose and xylose concentration were generally higher (P<0.05) in straw treated with fungi, whereas glucose and galactose were lower as compared with C-BNS. The four treatments above were subsequently assessed in rumen in vitro fermentations, along with BNS treated with 2 mL g-1 of 5 N NaOH. Concentrations of total volatile fatty acids after 24 and 48h were lower (P<0.05) in incubations that contained BNS treated with T. versicolor as compared with C-BNSor NaOH-treated BNS. Compared with C-BNS, in vitrodry matter disappearance and gas production were increased (P<0.05) by NaOH, but not by treatment with either strain of T. versicolor. Although treatment with T. versicolor did release more lignin degradation products, it did not appear to provide more degradable carbohydrate to in vitro rumen microbial populations, even when a mutant strain with compromised carbohydrate metabolism was utilized. Production of secondary compounds by the aerobic fungi may inhibit rumen microbial fermentation.
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