Relationships between chemical composition and in vitro gas production parameters of maize leaves and stems

Yuan He*, John W. Cone, Wouter H. Hendriks, Jan Dijkstra

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the chemical composition (proximate and Van Soest analysis) and in vitro gas production parameters of maize leaves and stems separately, and related the in vitro gas production parameters with the chemical composition, of thirteen maize cultivars. After harvest in September 2016, all plants were separated into two morphological fractions: leaves and stems. The crude protein (CP) content was greater, and the ratio of acid detergent lignin (ADL) to potentially rumen degradable fibre (calculated as the difference between neutral detergent fibre and ADL; ADL:pRDF) was lower in the leaves than in the stems in all 13 cultivars. For the leaves, the cumulative gas production between 3 and 20 hr (A2), representing cell wall fermentation in the rumen fluid, and the cumulative 72-hr gas production (GP72), representing total organic matter (OM) degradation, were moderately to weakly correlated with the chemical composition, including hemicellulose, cellulose, ADL and CP content (R2 < 0.40), whilst the best relationship between the half-time value (B2), representing the rate of cell wall degradation, and chemical composition had an R2 of 0.63. For the stems, the best relationship between A2, B2 and GP72 with chemical composition was greater (R2 ≥ 0.74) and the best relationship included hemicellulose (A2 only), cellulose and ADL (GP72 and A2 only) contents. In conclusion, maize leaves and stems differed in chemical composition, in particular CP content and ADL:pRDF. The A2 and GP72 of the stems, but not of the leaves, were highly correlated with the chemical composition, indicating that the cell wall and OM degradation of maize stems can be better predicted by its chemical composition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-21
JournalJournal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition
Volume104
Issue number1
Early online date3 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

Keywords

  • cell wall degradation
  • in vitro gas production
  • maize leaves
  • maize stems

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