Ruminal bacterial community shifts in grain-, sugar-, and histidine-challenged dairy heifers

Journal of Dairy Science
Helen M GolderI J Lean


Ruminal bacterial community composition (BCC) and its associations with ruminal fermentation measures were studied in dairy heifers challenged with combinations of grain, fructose, and histidine in a partial factorial study. Holstein-Friesian heifers (n=30) were randomly allocated to 5 triticale grain-based treatment groups: (1) control (no grain), (2) grain [fed at a dry matter intake (DMI) of 1.2% of body weight (BW)], (3) grain (0.8% of BW DMI) + fructose (0.4% of BW DMI), (4) grain (1.2% of BW DMI) + histidine (6g/head), and (5) grain (0.8% of BW DMI) + fructose (0.4% of BW DMI) + histidine (6g/head). Ruminal fluid was collected using a stomach tube 5, 115, and 215min after consumption of the rations and bacterial 16S ribosomal DNA sequence data was analyzed to characterize bacteria. Large variation among heifers and distinct BCC were evident in a between-group constrained principal components analysis. Bacterial composition in the fructose-fed heifers was positively related to total lactate and butyrate concentrations. Bacterial composition was positively associated with ruminal ammonia, valerate, and histamine concentrations in the grain-fed heifers. The predominant phyla were the Firmicutes (57.6% of total recovered sequ...Continue Reading


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