Stability and stabilization of potential feed additive enzymes in rumen fluid*

Diego P Morgavi, JR Newbold, D A Beever, M Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Four commercial preparations of fibrolytic enzymes, from Irpex lacteus, Trichoderma viride, Aspergillus niger, and a mixture designed to be similar to the I. lacteus extract, were incubated in vitro with digesta taken from the rumen of sheep receiving a grass hay/concentrate diet, and the survival of major enzyme activities was measured. Some activities, including the beta-1,4-endoglucanase and xylanase from the extract derived from Aspergillus niger, were stable for at least 6 h in rumen fluid. The same activities in the other extracts also retained substantial activity for several hours. beta-Glucosidase and beta-xylosidase activities were much more labile, most being almost completely destroyed after 1 h, and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis indicated that most proteins in the extracts were digested extensively after up to 7 h of incubation. Adding bovine serum albumin (0.5 g/l) to the incubation increased the half-life of Trichoderma viride beta-glucosidase activity from less than 0.5 h to 3 h. Proteins extracted from plant materials, particularly the soybean 7S globulin fraction, also conferred protection from proteolytic breakdown, but none was as effective as bovine serum albumin. It was concluded that the stability of most fibrolytic enzymes in rumen fluid is not likely to be a limiting factor in the use of enzymes as feed additives for ruminants; but if the enzymes are not stable, means can be found for their stabilization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalEnzyme and Microbial Technology
Issue number2-4
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Feb 2000
Externally publishedYes


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