SUMMARY: When fermentations of glucose, fructose or sucrose are carried out under conditions comparable with those in the rumen by means of relatively small inocula of strained rumen contents from hay-fed sheep, the holotrichously ciliated protozoa which are present store immense numbers of microscopic granules consisting of a practically protein-free glucosan giving a purple colour with iodine. The granules can be liberated by bursting the protozoa by the action of the synthetic detergent Teepol XL under mild conditions. An exactly similar polysaccharide granule preparation car be made from protozoa present in the rumen itself if rumen contents are withdrawn 2-4 hr. after feeding. The yield of iodophilic polysaccharide so obtained may be equivalent to approximately 25% of the weight of water-soluble, yeast-fermentable sugars in a single feed of hay. No granule-filled protozoa are present 9 hr. after feeding.

Other simple sugars such as glucuronolactone, galactose, mannose, xylose, arabinose, aorbose, lactose, cellobiose and maltose, are not markedly converted into polysaccharide granules by rumen protozoa, during fermentation.


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