Quality Parameters and Antioxidant Activity of Three Clover Species in Relation to the Livestock Diet
Products of metabolism that are directly involved in growth, development and reproduction and also secondary products of metabolism were studied in 16 natural populations of three species of the genus Trifolium (T. repens – four populations, T. alpestre – three populations, T. pannonicum – nine populations), collected from the central Balkans region, i.e. territory of Serbia. Statistical analysis showed the presence of variability in all species of the test material. The best quality of dry matter, estimated by the ratio of crude protein and crude fiber, was achieved in the populations of white clover. In this species, average protein content was 216.4 g kg-1 while the average content of crude fiber was 222.4 g kg-1. The highest average content of total phenols (77.9 mg GA g-1), flavonoids (159.7 mg Ru g-1) and antioxidant activity (70.2 μg ml-1) was measured in populations of T. pannonicum by phytochemical analysis of aerial parts of plants. The content of secondary metabolites and antioxidant activity in other species were extremely low. Populations of T. pannonicum were notable for fodder quality and antioxidant activity: CS091 with 186.2 g kg-1 of crude protein and antioxidant activity of 55 μg ml-1; RA123 with 175.6 g kg-1 of crude protein and a high level of antioxidant activity of 44.8 μg ml-1. It can be concluded that the selection of these populations may lead to creation of different varieties of fodder crops that could give safe animal feed and would be suitable for growing under adverse conditions of mountainous climate.
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