Influence of Nitrate and Molybdenum on Sulfur Utilization by Rumen Microorganisms

J. W. Spears, L. P. Bush, D. G. Ely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Twenty-four hours in vitro incubations were used to study the effect of nitrate and molybdenum on sulfur utilization by rumen microorganisms. Sulfur was added as sodium sulfate or sulfide at .1, .2, .3, or .4% of the substrate dry matter. Cellulose digestion was an indicator of microbial growth. The addition of .1 to .4% sulfate or sulfide sulfur increased cellulose digestion over the control, the two sulfur sources being equal in promoting cellulose digestion. No differences in cellulose digestion were found between .1 and .4% added sulfur. However, the addition of .4 or .8% nitrate-nitrogen depressed cellulose digestion and increased the requir;ement for both sulfate and sulfide. Depression was greater with .8% nitrate-nitrogen. In the presence of nitrate, sulfide was superior to sulfate in promoting cellulose digestion. When 4 or 8 ppm molybdenum were added to the incubations, increasing concentrations of both sulfate and sulfide were required to obtain maximum cellulose digestion. Molybdenum additions increased both the sulfate and sulfide requirement for maximum cellulose digestion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1889-1893
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1977

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Ruminant animals have the unique ability to utilize inorganic sulfur as a sole source of sulfur (3, 27). Certain rumen microorganisms are Received April 4, 1977. ' Investigation (77-5-3-15) is a project of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station published with approval of the Director. 2Department of Animal Science, University of Illinois, Urbana. a Department of Agronomy. 4This research was partially supported by a grant from the Sulphur Institute, Washington, DC 20006.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Genetics


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