Impact of high-concentrate feeding and low ruminal pH on methanogens and protozoa in the rumen of dairy cows.
ABSTRACT Non-lactating dairy cattle were transitioned to a high-concentrate diet to investigate the effect of ruminal pH suppression, commonly found in dairy cattle, on the density, diversity, and community structure of rumen methanogens, as well as the density of rumen protozoa. Four ruminally cannulated cows were fed a hay diet and transitioned to a 65% grain and 35% hay diet. The cattle were maintained on an high-concentrate diet for 3 weeks before the transition back to an hay diet, which was fed for an additional 3 weeks. Rumen fluid and solids and fecal samples were obtained prior to feeding during weeks 0 (hay), 1, and 3 (high-concentrate), and 4 and 6 (hay). Subacute ruminal acidosis was induced during week 1. During week 3 of the experiment, there was a significant increase in the number of protozoa present in the rumen fluid (P=0.049) and rumen solids (P=0.004), and a significant reduction in protozoa in the rumen fluid in week 6 (P=0.003). No significant effect of diet on density of rumen methanogens was found in any samples, as determined by real-time PCR. Clone libraries were constructed for weeks 0, 3, and 6, and the methanogen diversity of week 3 was found to differ from week 6. Week 3 was also found to have a significantly altered methanogen community structure, compared to the other weeks. Twenty-two unique 16S rRNA phylotypes were identified, three of which were found only during high-concentrate feeding, three were found during both phases of hay feeding, and seven were found in all three clone libraries. The genus Methanobrevibacter comprised 99% of the clones present. The rumen fluid at weeks 0, 3, and 6 of all the animals was found to contain a type A protozoal population. Ultimately, high-concentrate feeding did not significantly affect the density of rumen methanogens, but did alter methanogen diversity and community structure, as well as protozoal density within the rumen of nonlactating dairy cattle. Therefore, it may be necessary to monitor the rumen methanogen and protozoal communities of dairy cattle susceptible to depressed pH when methane abatement strategies are being investigated.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to determine the effects of replacing grass silage (GS) with corn silage (CS) in dairy cow diets on enteric methane (CH4) production, rumen volatile fatty acid (FA) concentrations, and milk FA composition. A completely randomized block design experiment was conducted with 32 multiparous lactating Holstein-Friesian cows. Four dietary treatments were used, all having a roughage-to-concentrate ratio of 80:20 based on dry matter (DM). The roughage consisted of either 100% GS, 67% GS and 33% CS, 33% GS and 67% CS, or 100% CS (all DM basis). Feed intake was restricted (95% of ad libitum DM intake) to avoid confounding effects of DM intake on CH4 production. Nutrient intake, apparent digestibility, milk production and composition, nitrogen (N) and energy balance, and CH4 production were measured during a 5-d period in climate respiration chambers after adaptation to the diet for 12 d. Increasing CS proportion linearly decreased neutral detergent fiber and crude protein intake and linearly increased starch intake. Milk production and milk fat content (on average 23.4 kg/d and 4.68%, respectively) were not affected by increasing CS inclusion, whereas milk protein content increased quadratically. Rumen variables were unaffected by increasing CS inclusion, except the molar proportion of butyrate, which increased linearly. Methane production (expressed as grams per day, grams per kilogram of fat- and protein-corrected milk, and as a percent of gross energy intake) decreased quadratically with increasing CS inclusion, and decreased linearly when expressed as grams of CH4 per kilogram of DM intake. In comparison with 100% GS, CH4 production was 11 and 8% reduced for the 100% CS diet when expressed per unit of DM intake and per unit fat- and protein-corrected milk, respectively. Nitrogen efficiency increased linearly with increased inclusion of CS. The concentration of trans C18:1 FA, C18:1 cis-12, and total CLA increased quadratically, and iso C16:0, C18:1 cis-13, and C18:2n-6 increased linearly, whereas the concentration of C15:0, iso C15:0, C17:0, and C18:3n-3 decreased linearly with increasing inclusion of CS. No differences were found in short- and medium-straight, even-chain FA concentrations, with the exception of C4:0 which increased linearly with increased inclusion of CS. Replacing GS with CS in a common forage-based diet for dairy cattle offers an effective strategy to decrease enteric CH4 production without negatively affecting dairy cow performance, although a critical level of starch in the diet seems to be needed. Copyright © 2015 American Dairy Science Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Journal of Dairy Science 01/2015; 98(3). DOI:10.3168/jds.2014-8552 · 2.55 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The current study provides the insight into the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and methanogens presented in the rumen and cecum of the Chinese roe deer (Capreolus pygargus). The ruminal, ileal, cecal, and colonic contents, as well as feces, were obtained from each of the three, free-range, roe deer ingesting natural pasture after euthanasia. For the bacterial community, a total of 697,031 high-quality 16S rRNA gene sequences were generated using high-throughput sequencing, and assigned to 2,223 core operational taxonomic units (OTUs) (12 bacterial phyla and 87 genera). The phyla Firmicutes (51.2%) and Bacteroidetes (39.4%) were the dominant bacteria in the GIT of roe deer. However, the bacterial community in the rumen was significantly (P<0.01) different from the other sampled regions along the GIT. Secondly, Prevotella spp., Anaerovibrio spp., and unidentified bacteria within the families Veillonellaceae and Paraprevotellaceae were more abundant in the rumen than in the other regions. Unidentified bacteria within the family Enterobacteriaceae, Succinivibrio spp., and Desulfovibrio spp. were more predominant in the colon than in other regions. Unidentified bacteria within the family Ruminococcaceae, and Bacteroides spp. were more prevalent in the ileum, cecum and fecal pellets. For methanogens in the rumen and cecum, a total of 375,647 high quality 16S rRNA gene sequences were obtained and assigned to 113 core OTUs. Methanobrevibacter millerae was the dominant species accounting for 77.3±7.4 (S.E) % and 68.9±4.4 (S.E) % of total sequences in the rumen and cecum of roe deer, respectively. However, the abundance of Methanobrevibacter smithii was higher in the rumen than in the cecum (P = 0.004). These results revealed that there was intra variation in the bacterial community composition across the GIT of roe deer, and also showed that the methanogen community in the rumen differed from that in the cecum.PLoS ONE 12/2014; 9(12):e114513. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0114513 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The fields of immunology, microbiology, and nutrition converge in an astonishing way. Dietary ingredients have a profound effect on the composition of the gut microflora, which in turn regulates the physiology of metazoans. As such, nutritional components of the diet are of critical importance not only for meeting the nutrient requirements of the host, but also for the microbiome. During their coevolution, bacterial microbiota has established multiple mechanisms to influence the eukaryotic host, generally in a beneficial fashion. The microbiome encrypts a variety of metabolic functions that complements the physiology of their hosts. Over a century ago Eli Metchnikoff proposed the revolutionary idea to consume viable bacteria to promote health by modulating the intestinal microflora. The idea is more applicable now than ever, since bacterial antimicrobial resistance has become a serious worldwide problem both in medical and agricultural fields. The impending ban of antibiotics in animal feed due to the current concern over the spread of antibiotic resistance genes makes a compelling case for the development of alternative prophylactics. Nutritional approaches to counteract the debilitating effects of stress and infection may provide producers with useful alternatives to antibiotics. Improving the disease resistance of animals grown without antibiotics will benefit the animals' health, welfare, and production efficiency, and is also a key strategy in the effort to improve the microbiological safe status of animal-derived food products (e.g. by poultry, rabbits, ruminants, or pigs). This review presents some of the alternatives currently used in food-producing animals to influence their health in relation to human health.Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 02/2015; 26:25876. DOI:10.3402/mehd.v26.25876