Animal Science Department


First Advisor

James C. MacDonald

Second Advisor

Galen E. Erickson

Date of this Version



Jolly-Breithaupt, M. L. 2018. Evaluation of alpha amylase containing corn on finishing cattle performance and digestibility. University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Doctoral Dissertation.


A DISSERTATION Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, Major: Animal Science (Ruminant Nutrition), Under the Supervision of Professors James C. MacDonald and Galen E. Erickson. Lincoln, Nebraska: May, 2018

Copyright (c) 2018 Melissa L. Jolly-Breithaupt


One digestion and four finishing trials were conducted to evaluate the effect of a new corn hybrid containing an α-amylase trait, Syngenta Enogen Feed Corn (SYT-EFC) on site and extent of digestion, ruminal fermentation parameters, and feedlot performance. Experiments utilized corn containing the enzymatic gene compared to controls, the near isoline parental corn (NEG) or commercially available corn grain (CON), processed as dry-rolled corn (DRC) or high moisture corn (HMC) in diets with dry [distillers grains plus solubles (DGS)] or wet (Sweet Bran) milling byproducts. The corn grain of the experimental diets were fed as the sole grain source, comprising 100% of the concentrate in the diet. Cattle fed SYT-EFC, processed as DRC with Sweet Bran had increased G:F resulting in feeding values ranging from 103 to 116% of CON or NEG. Steers fed SYT-EFC, processed as DRC with DGS had increased G:F resulting in feeding values ranging from 101 to 107% of CON or 105% of NEG. However, when processed as HMC, feeding SYT-EFC resulted in 96 and 102% that of NEG when fed with Sweet Bran or DGS, respectively. Marbling and 12th rib fat thickness data were mixed among trials with being increased in cattle fed SYT-EFC or observing no detectable difference among treatments. Cattle fed SYT-EFC had greater postruminal starch digestibility compared to NEG resulting in a 2.2 and 6.3% increase in total tract starch digestibility in DGS and Sweet Bran diets, respectively. Overall, feeding corn containing an α-amylase trait as DRC would suggest a slight improvement in feed efficiency.

Advisors: James C. MacDonald and Galen E. Erickson