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Digesta kinetics in gazelles in comparison to other ruminants: Evidence for taxon-specific rumen fluid throughput to adjust digesta washing to the natural diet


Dittmann, Marie T; Hummel, Jürgen; Hammer, Sven; Arif, Abdi; Hebel, Christiana; Müller, Dennis W H; Fritz, Julia; Steuer, Patrick; Schwarm, Angela; Kreuzer, Michael; Clauss, Marcus (2015). Digesta kinetics in gazelles in comparison to other ruminants: Evidence for taxon-specific rumen fluid throughput to adjust digesta washing to the natural diet. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 185:58-68.

Abstract

Digesta flow plays an important role in ruminant digestive physiology. We measured the mean retention time (MRT) of a solute and a particle marker in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the reticulorumen (RR) of five gazelles and one dikdik species. Species-specific differenceswere independent frombodymass (BM)or food intake. Comparative evaluations (including up to 31 other ruminant species) indicate that MRT GIT relate positively to BM, and are less related to feeding type (the percentage of grass in the natural diet, %grass) than MRT RR. The MRTparticleRR is related to BM and (as a trend) %grass, matching a higher RR capacity with increasing BM in grazers compared to browsers. MRTsoluteRR is neither linked to BM nor to %grass but shows a consistent phylogenetic signal. Selectivity factors (SF; MRTparticle/MRTsolute, proxies for the degree of digesta washing) are positively related to %grass, with a threshold effect, where species with N20% grass have higher SF. These findings suggest that in different ruminant taxa, morphophysiological adaptations controlling MRTsoluteRR evolved to achieve a similar SF RR in relation to a %grass threshold. A high SF could facilitate an increased microbial yield from the forestomach. Reasons for variation in SF above the %grass threshold might represent important drivers of ruminant diversification and await closer investigation.

Abstract

Digesta flow plays an important role in ruminant digestive physiology. We measured the mean retention time (MRT) of a solute and a particle marker in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the reticulorumen (RR) of five gazelles and one dikdik species. Species-specific differenceswere independent frombodymass (BM)or food intake. Comparative evaluations (including up to 31 other ruminant species) indicate that MRT GIT relate positively to BM, and are less related to feeding type (the percentage of grass in the natural diet, %grass) than MRT RR. The MRTparticleRR is related to BM and (as a trend) %grass, matching a higher RR capacity with increasing BM in grazers compared to browsers. MRTsoluteRR is neither linked to BM nor to %grass but shows a consistent phylogenetic signal. Selectivity factors (SF; MRTparticle/MRTsolute, proxies for the degree of digesta washing) are positively related to %grass, with a threshold effect, where species with N20% grass have higher SF. These findings suggest that in different ruminant taxa, morphophysiological adaptations controlling MRTsoluteRR evolved to achieve a similar SF RR in relation to a %grass threshold. A high SF could facilitate an increased microbial yield from the forestomach. Reasons for variation in SF above the %grass threshold might represent important drivers of ruminant diversification and await closer investigation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:02 Apr 2015 09:12
Last Modified:25 Sep 2016 05:12
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1095-6433
Funders:SNF
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.01.013

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