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Effect of Urochloa brizantha extract on metabolism and ruminal metagenomic of sheep

Abstract

The use of additives as a ruminal manipulation strategy is widely used in Brazil and in the world in order to promote gains in production, improve zootechnical indices and, consequently, intensify production. Secondary plant compounds such as saponins, tannins, and essential oils have been studied as potential alternatives to the use of conventional antibiotics as growth promoters in ruminant production. Urochloa brizantha is a tropical grass widely used as pasture in Brazil and has secondary compounds, mainly saponins, which can alter the microbiota and modulate rumen fermentation. However, research on the genetics of secondary compounds in this grass and their effects on CH4 production has yet to be explored. Therefore, the present proposal aims to evaluate the effect of adding Urochloa brizantha extract to sheep diets as a modulator of ruminal fermentation, elucidating its mode of action on microbial diversity, and on ruminal parameters and metabolites. It is expected that the addition of Urochloa brizantha extract, rich in secondary compounds, mainly saponin, alters microbial diversity and ruminal metabolites, resulting in better ruminal efficiency, such as attachment of protozoa (defaunation), with a consequent increase in the efficiency of microbial protein synthesis and protein flow to the duodenum, change in volatile fat intake profile and decrease in methane production. This an unprecedented and high-quality proposal to evaluate a plant widely exploited in Brazil for feeding ruminants and to investigate possible suspicions among chemical substances present in the animals' own pasture. In addition to seeking promising results for the sustainability of the national livestock chain with information that can greatly contribute to the defense of our livestock activity. (AU)

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