Use of Nuclear and Colorimetric Techniques for Measuring Microbial Protein Supply from Local Feed Recources in Ruminant Animals


To refine, standardize and validate the purine excretion technique for measuring microbial protein supply in ruminant livestock in developing countries, using nuclear and related techniques and to use the validated technique for estimating rumen microbial protein supply for developing feeding strategies.


This CRP was initiated in 1996 and is being carried out in two phases. During Phase 1,  a colorimetric technique developed by the Rowett Research Institute, UK, for measuring purine derivatives in urine will be refined, standardized and validated for indigenous Zebu (Bos indicus) cattle, their crosses with exotic breeds (Bos taurus x Bos indicus) and buffaloes. The First RCM was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, in August 1996. It re-affirmed that the purine derivative excretion technique has great potential to provide an easy and scientifically valid method for predicting the flow of microbial nitrogen from the rumen. The method is being further developed so that it can be applied at the field level to provide information needed during Phase 2. The second RCM was held in Vienna, Austria in August 1998. The report was published as IAEA-TECDOC-1093.

This CRP is now in Phase II and is aimed at developing a method which can readily be used by farmer advisors or extension workers to identify major problems of nutrition that result in a grossly inefficient rumen digestion of feed and a low level of microbial supply to the host animal.


[Download pdf]


  • Report of the second RCM, Vienna, Austria, 1998 IAEA-TECDOC-1093.
  • Report of the third RCM, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 2000. [Download pdf]
  • Report of the fourth and final RCM, Hue Vietnam, 2002. [Download pdf]
  • Laboratory Training Manual on the standardization and validation of the urine purine derivative technique. IAEA TECDOC-945. [html]
  • Report for quality control of chemical analysis. [Download pdf]

Project Officer:

H. Makkar