S. A. DENEV1, Tz. PEEVA2, P. RADULOVA3, N. STANCHEVA2, G. STAYKOVA2, G. BEEV1, P. TODOROVA3 and S. TCHOBANOVA1
1 Agricultural Faculty, Trakia University, BG - 6000 Stara Zagora, Bulgaria
2 Agricultural Institute, BG - 9700 Shumen, Bulgaria
3 Research Institute of Mountain Stockbreeding and Agriculture, BG-5000 Troyan, Bulgaria
DENEV, S. A., Tz. PEEVA, P. RADULOVA, P. STANCHEVA, G. STAYKOVA, G. BEEV, P. TODOROVA and S. TCHOBANOVA, 2007. Yeast cultures in ruminant nutrition. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 13: 357-374
Interest in the use of fungal direct-fed microbials in ruminant nutrition is considerable. The ban of antibiotic growth promoters in feed for production of animal foods has increased interest in evaluating the effect of yeast cultures (YC) on the gastrointestinal ecosystem, rumen microbial populations and function. The effects of specific YC preparations on the rumen environment and performance of ruminants have been well documented, and has generated considerable scientific interest over the last two decades. The precise mode of action by which YC, which are mostly derived from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, improve livestock performance has attracted the attention of a number of researchers in the world. It is clear from these research efforts that YC supplements can beneficially modify microbial activities, fermentative and digestive functions in the rumen. The research has demonstrated that viable YC preparations can stimulate specific groups of beneficial bacteria in the rumen, and has provided mechanistic models that can explain their effects on animal performance. The effects of YC on animal productivity are strain-dependant. So, all YC preparations are not equivalent in efficiency. This aspect opens a new field of research for new strains, each being more specialized in its use. The goal of many of these research activities has been to define the application and production strategies that can optimize animal responses to YC supplements. Continuous research with live YC supplements has clearly established scientifically-proven strategies for modifying and optimizing microbial activities in the gastrointestinal ecosystem and techniques for improving performance and health of ruminants. This article reviews the current status of the use of live yeast cultures in ruminant nutrition.