Submitted to: North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2006
Publication Date: 7/19/2006
Citation: Peel, M., Chen, D., Dewald, D.B., Olson, K.C., Weimer, B. 2006. Differential ruminal degradation of alfalfa proteins. North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) has one of the highest crude protein contents among forage crops, but the crude protein is rapidly and extensively degraded by microorganisms in the rumen. Our objectives were to i) identify the major specific proteins in alfalfa, and ii) quantify the rate of ruminal degradation of those major proteins after two hours digestion in the rumen. Ground samples from three distinct alfalfa germplasm sources were ruminally incubated and the remaining protein separated using gel electrophoresis. Most individual proteins were either universally degraded or stable after, however, individual proteins were identified that were less degraded in some germplasm. The variation in protein degradation suggests there is potential to increase ruminal protein bypass in alfalfa.