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Digesta retention patterns of solute and different-sized particles in camelids compared with ruminants and other foregut fermenters


Dittmann, Marie T; Runge, Ullrich; Ortmann, Sylvia; Lang, Richard A; Moser, Dario; Galeffi, Cordula; Schwarm, Angela; Kreuzer, Michael; Clauss, Marcus (2015). Digesta retention patterns of solute and different-sized particles in camelids compared with ruminants and other foregut fermenters. Journal of Comparative Physiology B, 185(5):559-573.

Abstract

The mean retention time (MRT) of solute or particles in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the forestomach (FS) are crucial determinants of digestive physiology in herbivores. Besides ruminants, camelids are the only herbivores that have evolved rumination as an obligatory physiological process consisting of repeated mastication of large food particles, which requires a particle sorting mechanism in the FS. Differences between camelids and ruminants have hardly been investigated so far. In this study we measured MRTs of solute and differently-sized particles (2, 10, and 20 mm), and the ratio of large-to-small particle MRT, i.e., the selectivity factors (SF10/2mm, SF20/2mm, SF20/10mm), in three camelid species: alpacas (Vicugna pacos), llamas (Llama glama), and Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus). The camelid data were compared with literature data from ruminants and non-ruminant foregut fermenters (NRFF). Camelids and ruminants both had higher SF10/2mmFS than NRFF, suggesting convergence in the function of the FS sorting mechanism in contrast to NRFF, in which such a sorting mechanism is absent. The SF20/10mmFS did not differ between ruminants and camelids, indicating that there is a particle size threshold of about 1 cm in both suborders above which particle retention is not increased. Camelids did not differ from ruminants in MRT2mmFS, MRTsoluteFS and the ratio MRT2mmFS/MRTsoluteFS, but they were more similar to ‘cattle-’ than to ‘moose-type’ ruminants. Camelids had higher SF10/2mmFS and higher SF20/2mmFS than ruminants, indicating a potentially slower particle sorting in camelids than in ruminants, with larger particles being retained longer in relation to small particles.

Abstract

The mean retention time (MRT) of solute or particles in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and the forestomach (FS) are crucial determinants of digestive physiology in herbivores. Besides ruminants, camelids are the only herbivores that have evolved rumination as an obligatory physiological process consisting of repeated mastication of large food particles, which requires a particle sorting mechanism in the FS. Differences between camelids and ruminants have hardly been investigated so far. In this study we measured MRTs of solute and differently-sized particles (2, 10, and 20 mm), and the ratio of large-to-small particle MRT, i.e., the selectivity factors (SF10/2mm, SF20/2mm, SF20/10mm), in three camelid species: alpacas (Vicugna pacos), llamas (Llama glama), and Bactrian camels (Camelus bactrianus). The camelid data were compared with literature data from ruminants and non-ruminant foregut fermenters (NRFF). Camelids and ruminants both had higher SF10/2mmFS than NRFF, suggesting convergence in the function of the FS sorting mechanism in contrast to NRFF, in which such a sorting mechanism is absent. The SF20/10mmFS did not differ between ruminants and camelids, indicating that there is a particle size threshold of about 1 cm in both suborders above which particle retention is not increased. Camelids did not differ from ruminants in MRT2mmFS, MRTsoluteFS and the ratio MRT2mmFS/MRTsoluteFS, but they were more similar to ‘cattle-’ than to ‘moose-type’ ruminants. Camelids had higher SF10/2mmFS and higher SF20/2mmFS than ruminants, indicating a potentially slower particle sorting in camelids than in ruminants, with larger particles being retained longer in relation to small particles.

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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:26 Jun 2015 09:28
Last Modified:27 Sep 2016 07:10
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:0174-1578
Funders:SNF
Additional Information:The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00360-015-0904-x
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s00360-015-0904-x

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