Track 1-02

Description

Leucaena leucocephala is a leguminous tree widely distributed in the tropical regions of the world. In Mexico, it has been incorporated into silvopastoral systems and is highly regarded, owing to its high content of crude protein. Nonetheless, L. leucocephala contains secondary metab-olites, such as mimosine, a non-protein free amino acid, which may induce toxic effects in unadapted ruminants that consume the forage (Hammond 1995). Although Synergistes jonesii, an anaerobic bacterium, has the ability to degrade 3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP to non-toxic compounds (Allison et al. 1992), in Mexico its presence has not yet been confirmed. Recent work has suggested the occurrence of sub-clinical toxicity to 3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP in cattle grazing L. leucocephala in Australia and Thailand (Graham 2007; Dalzell et al. 2012; Phaikaew et al. 2012). Several options such as the transfer of rumen liquor and the adaptation of ruminants to the intake of L. leucocephala have been studied in an attempt to reduce the excretion of mimosine and its metabolites (Palmer et al. 2010).

The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of the experience of consumption of L. leucocephala on excretion of mimosine derivatives (3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP) in the urine of cattle.

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Urinary Excretion of Mimosine Derivatives by Cows with and without Experience in Consumption of Leucaena leucocephala

Leucaena leucocephala is a leguminous tree widely distributed in the tropical regions of the world. In Mexico, it has been incorporated into silvopastoral systems and is highly regarded, owing to its high content of crude protein. Nonetheless, L. leucocephala contains secondary metab-olites, such as mimosine, a non-protein free amino acid, which may induce toxic effects in unadapted ruminants that consume the forage (Hammond 1995). Although Synergistes jonesii, an anaerobic bacterium, has the ability to degrade 3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP to non-toxic compounds (Allison et al. 1992), in Mexico its presence has not yet been confirmed. Recent work has suggested the occurrence of sub-clinical toxicity to 3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP in cattle grazing L. leucocephala in Australia and Thailand (Graham 2007; Dalzell et al. 2012; Phaikaew et al. 2012). Several options such as the transfer of rumen liquor and the adaptation of ruminants to the intake of L. leucocephala have been studied in an attempt to reduce the excretion of mimosine and its metabolites (Palmer et al. 2010).

The aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of the experience of consumption of L. leucocephala on excretion of mimosine derivatives (3,4-DHP and 2,3-DHP) in the urine of cattle.