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J Dairy Sci. 2017 Feb;100(2):1151-1160. doi: 10.3168/jds.2016-11450. Epub 2016 Nov 23.

Identification of the major yeasts isolated from high moisture corn and corn silages in the United States using genetic and biochemical methods.

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Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark 19716.
Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark 19716.
Elanco Animal Health, Greenfield, IN 46140.
Department of Animal Science, University of São Paulo, Piracicaba, SP 13418-900, Brazil.
Department of Animal and Food Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark 19716. Electronic address:


The objective of this study was to identify species of yeasts in samples of high moisture corn (HMC) and corn silage (CS) collected from farms throughout the United States. Samples were plated and colonies were isolated for identification using DNA analysis. Randomly selected colonies were also identified by fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) and by physiological substrate profiling (ID 32C). For CS, Candida ethanolica, Saccharomyces bulderi, Pichia anomala, Kazachstania unispora, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae were the predominant yeasts. Pichia anomala, Issatchenkia orientalis, S. cerevisiae, and Pichia fermentans were the prevalent species in HMC. The 3 identification methods were in agreement at the species level for 16.6% of the isolates and showed no agreement for 25.7%. Agreement in species identification between ID 32C and DNA analysis, FAME and ID 32C, and FAME and DNA analysis was 41.1, 14.4, and 2.2%, respectively. Pichia anomala and I. orientalis were able to grow on lactic acid, whereas S. cerevisiae metabolized sugars (galactose, sucrose, and glucose) but failed to use lactic acid. The yeast diversity in CS and HMC varied due to type of feed and location. Differences in species assignments were seen among methods, but identification using substrate profiling generally corresponded with that based on DNA analysis. These findings provide information about the species that may be expected in silages, and this knowledge may lead to interventions that control unwanted yeasts.


Pichia anomala; fermentation; spoilage

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