Effect of various essential oils isolated from Douglas fir needles upon sheep and deer rumen microbial activity.

  • H K Oh, T Sakai, M B Jones, W M Longhurst
  • Published 1967 in Applied microbiology


The effects of essential oils isolated from Douglas fir needles on sheep and deer rumen microbial activity were tested by use of an anaerobic manometric technique. Rumen microorganisms were obtained from a sheep which had been fed mainly on alfalfa hay and dried range grass. One deer used in this study had access to Douglas fir trees the year around, whereas the other deer had no access to Douglas fir. All of the monoterpene hydrocarbons isolated from Douglas fir needles-alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, limonene, myrcene, camphene, Delta(3)-carene, and terpinolene-promoted only slightly or had no effect on deer rumen microbial activity, whereas all of them promoted activity in sheep rumen microbes, except Delta(3)-carene and terpinolene, which inhibited activity. Of the oxygenated monoterpenes, all monoterpene alcohols-alpha-terpineol, terpinen-4-ol, linalool, citronellol, and fenchyl alcohol-strongly inhibited the rumen microbial activity of both sheep and deer. Monoterpene esters (bornyl acetate) produced mild inhibition for both sheep and deer microbes, and citronellyl acetate inhibited rumen microbial activity in sheep, whereas it promoted activity in both deer. Monoterpene aldehyde (citronellal) inhibited the activity of rumen microbes from both sheep and deer having no access to Douglas fir from the Hopland Field Station, whereas they produced no effect upon the deer having access to Douglas fir from the Masonite forest. Rumen microbial activity for sheep and deer was promoted slightly with aliphatic ester (ethyl-n-caproate). There was a marked difference between sheep and deer rumen microbes as affected by addition of the various essential oils. The monoterpene hydrocarbons promoted activity more on sheep rumen microbes than on deer, and the monoterpene alcohols inhibited sheep rumen microbial activity more than that of deer. Furthermore, the deer rumen microbes from Hopland Field Station were affected more than the deer from Masonite forest.


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@article{Oh1967EffectOV, title={Effect of various essential oils isolated from Douglas fir needles upon sheep and deer rumen microbial activity.}, author={H K Oh and T Sakai and M B Jones and W M Longhurst}, journal={Applied microbiology}, year={1967}, volume={15 4}, pages={777-84} }