Physiological studies on Monascus
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Moldy silage, because of its economic importance, has attracted considerable attention in the last few years. Certain molds, because of their general and frequent occurrence and peculiar characteristics have become of considerable interest from both a practical and a scientific standpoint. It is thought by many farmers that moldy silage has been responsible for the deaths of stock. If this be true either all the moldy silage, which in some cases is a considerable amount, must be thrown away, or the risk of poisoning stock must be taken. From a scientific point of view, the interests are more diverse. The molds may be of interest because of their own characteristics, either morphological or physiological, or they may be studied because of the changes which they bring about in the substratum on which they grow. These changes may be either desirable or undesirable. It is now generally accepted that the fermentations of silage are, in part at least, due to the action of bacteria, yeasts, and molds, and that the quality of the silage produced depends to some extent upon their presence and activities. On the other hand, frequently conditions are such that the changes these organisms effect are undesirable from the standpoint of good silage. In order, however, to understand any change brought about by the mold in the sub-stratum or medium, it is necessary to study the physiological characteristics of the mold.
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