Theme 2: Forage--Oral Sessions

Description

A recent advance using molecular biology has identified a transcription factor or master switch that can ‘turn on’ the condensed tannin pathway present in white clover, and with the appropriate promoters allows biologically significant levels of condensed tannin expression in leaf tissue. In vitro tests have demonstrated that the condensed tannins produced in white clover leaves can bind protein at a pH 6.5, as found in the rumen, and then release them at pH 2.5, the pH in the abomasum, before entering the small intestine for amino acid absorption. Additional tests have demonstrated that these condensed tannins can reduce methane production by up to 25% in the first 6 hours of incubation. The journey to this point and the challenges ahead to deliver white clover cultivars with condensed tannin expression will be described.

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The Hunt for the “Holy Grail”: Condensed Tannins in Perennial Forage Legumes

A recent advance using molecular biology has identified a transcription factor or master switch that can ‘turn on’ the condensed tannin pathway present in white clover, and with the appropriate promoters allows biologically significant levels of condensed tannin expression in leaf tissue. In vitro tests have demonstrated that the condensed tannins produced in white clover leaves can bind protein at a pH 6.5, as found in the rumen, and then release them at pH 2.5, the pH in the abomasum, before entering the small intestine for amino acid absorption. Additional tests have demonstrated that these condensed tannins can reduce methane production by up to 25% in the first 6 hours of incubation. The journey to this point and the challenges ahead to deliver white clover cultivars with condensed tannin expression will be described.