Potential use of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) stover treated with white-rot fungi as rabbit feed

Ederson Andrade, Victor Pinheiro, Alexandre Gonçalves, John W. Cone, Guilhermina Marques, Valéria Silva, Luis Ferreira, Miguel Rodrigues*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Lignin inhibitory effects within the cell wall structure constitute a serious drawback in maximizing the utilization of fibrous feedstuffs in animal feeding. Therefore treatments that promote efficient delignification of these materials must be applied. This study evaluated the potential of white-rot fungi to upgrade the nutritive value of cowpea stover for rabbit feeding. RESULTS: There was an increase in the crude protein content of all substrates as a result of fungi treatments, reaching a net gain of 13% for Pleurotus citrinopileatus incubation. Overall, net losses of dry and organic matter occurred during fungi treatments. Although the fiber content remained identical, higher consumption of cell wall contents was measured for P. citrinopileatus incubation (between 40 and 45%). The incubation period did not influence lignin degradation for any of the fungi treatments. Differences within the fungal degradation mechanisms indicate that P. citrinopileatus treatment was most effective, enhancing in vitro organic matter digestibility by around 30% compared with the control. CONCLUSION: Treatment of cowpea stover with P. citrinopileatus led to an efficient delignification process which resulted in higher in vitro organic matter digestibility, showing its potential in the nutritional valorization of this feedstuff.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4386-4390
JournalJournal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Cowpea stover
  • Nutritional valorization
  • Rabbit feeding
  • White-rot fungi


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