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Streptococcus caprinus is ineffective as a rumen inoculum to improve digestion of mulga (Acacia aneura) by sheep

SM Miller, JD Brooker, A Phillips and LL Blackall

Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 47(8) 1323 - 1331
Published: 1996


This study examined the distribution of Streptococcus caprinus in domestic and feral ruminants, and the effect of rumen inoculation with S. caprinus on nitrogen digestion in mulga-fed sheep. S. caprinus is a tannin-resistant rumen bacterium found in feral goats and may play a role in alleviating the nutritive depressing effects of high concentrations of plant tannins in these animals. S. caprinus was present in samples of rumen fluid from feral goats and feral camels but was not detectable in rumen fluid from sheep and domestic goats that had not previously grazed forages containing condensed tannins. A proportion of sheep, domestic goats, and cattle grazing in mulga paddocks, with either feral goats or camels, had detectable populations of S. caprinus. Pure cultures of S. caprinus grown in vitro were successfully placed in the rumen of sheep; however, nitrogen digestion was unaffected by rumen inoculation. Interactions between several populations of micro-organisms may therefore be involved in achieving improvements in protein digestion.

Keywords: condensed tannin; protein; goats

© CSIRO 1996

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