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Animal. 2014 Apr;8(4):572-9. doi: 10.1017/S1751731114000056. Epub 2014 Feb 13.

Microbial biodiversity of the liquid fraction of rumen content from lactating cows.

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1 Department of Agricultural and Environmental Science, University of Udine, via Delle Scienze 208, 33100 Udine, Italy.
2 Department of Life Sciences, University of Trieste, via L. Giorgieri 5, 34127 Trieste, Italy.


Host and dietary interactions with the rumen microbiome can affect the efficacy of supplements, and their effect on the composition of the bacterial population is still unknown. A 16S rRNA metagenomic approach and Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology were used to investigate the bacterial microbiome composition in the liquid fraction of the rumen content collected via stomach tubing. To investigate biodiversity, samples were taken from three groups of four lactating dairy cows given a supplement of either 50 g of potato protein (Ctrl group), or 50 g of lyophilized Saccharomyces cerevisiae (LY group) or 50 g of dried S. cerevisiae (DY group) in a potato protein support. Rumen samples were collected after 15 days of dietary treatments and milk production was similar between the three groups. Taxonomic distribution analysis revealed a prevalence of the Firmicutes phylum in all cows (79.76%) and a significantly (P<0.05) higher presence of the genus Bacillus in the DY group. Volatile fatty-acid concentration was not significantly different between groups, possibly because of relatively high inter-animal variability or limited effect of the treatments or both, and the correlation analysis with bacterial taxa showed significant associations, in particular between many Firmicutes genera and butyrate. Limited differences were observed between dietary treatments, but the lack of microbiome data before yeast administration does not allow to draw firm conclusions on the effect of dietary treatments.

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