Rumen bacterial, archaeal, and fungal diversity of dairy cows in response to ingestion of lauric or myristic acid

Journal of Animal Science
A N HristovScot E Dowd


The objective of this experiment, part of a larger study, was to investigate changes in rumen bacterial, archaeal, and fungal diversity in cows fed medium-chain saturated fatty acids. In the main study, 6 lactating dairy cows were dosed intraruminally with 240 g/(cow · d) of stearic (SA, control), lauric (LA), or myristic (MA) acid in a replicated 3 × 3 Latin square design trial. Experimental periods were 28 d, and cows were transfaunated between periods. Lauric acid decreased protozoal counts in the rumen by 96% compared with SA and MA (compared with SA, MA had no effect on ruminal protozoa). Whole ruminal contents samples were collected 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 14, 18, and 24 h after the morning feeding on d 23 of each experimental period, stored frozen, and later composited by cow and period for microbial profile analyses, which involved tag-encoded flexible (FLX) amplicon pyrosequencing to provide diversity analyses of gastrointestinal bacterial, archaeal, and fungal populations of the cattle. The LA treatment, either directly or through its effect on protozoa, had a profound effect on the microbial ecology of the rumen. Ruminal populations of Prevotella, Bacteroides, and Enterorhabdus were decreased (P = 0.04 to P < 0.001) by more ...Continue Reading


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