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Sulfur and methionine metabolism in sheep. I. First approximations of sulfur pools in and sulfur flows from the reticulo-rumen.

  • Doyle, P T
  • Moir, R J
Published Article
Australian journal of biological sciences
Publication Date
Feb 01, 1979
PMID: 485976


Sulfur pools in the rumen and sulfur flows from the rumen were investigated in two experiments with sheep on a diet containing equal parts of oaten and lucerne chaffs. The diet was fed at two levels, either chopped or pelleted, and with intraruminal DL-methionine supplements. Ruminal fluid volumes and fluid flows to the omasum were measured. None of the treatments influenced ruminal fluid volume. Fluid flow to the omasum, however, was increased by increasing dry matter intake (DMI), and was further enhanced by feeding chaffed hay rather than the same materials ground and pelleted; the DL-methionine supplement had no effect. First approximation of the ruminal sulfur pools and of sulfur flows to the omasum were derived from the concentration of sulfur in true digesta and the ruminal fluid volume or fluid flow. Increasing DMI from 500 to 1000 g/day resulted in larger ruminal pools of total (1096 v. 792 mg), neutral (1016 v. 731 mg) and protein (479 v. 419 mg) sulfur, but the reducible sulfur pools were not affected by the level of DMI. Infusions of DL-methionine increased the ruminal sulfide sulfur pool irrespective of level of DMI. The first approximation of total sulfur flow was increased by 1660 mg/day at the higher level of DMI, due mainly to increases of 710 mg S/day as protein sulfur and 859 mg S/day as non-protein neutral sulfur. Flows of inorganic sulfate and ester sulfate sulfur, although small in comparison with organic sulfur flows, increased with level of DMI. Sulfide sulfur flows were also increased at the higher level of DMI, and were almost doubled by intraruminal infusions of DL-methionine.

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