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PLoS One. 2017 Aug 1;12(8):e0182271. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182271. eCollection 2017.

Temporal dynamics of in-situ fiber-adherent bacterial community under ruminal acidotic conditions determined by 16S rRNA gene profiling.

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Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria.
Clinic for Swine, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Subacute rumen acidotic (SARA) conditions are a consequence of high grain feeding. Recent work has shown that the pattern of grain feeding can significantly impact the rumen epimural microbiota. In a continuation of these works, the objective of this study was to determine the role of grain feeding patterns on the colonization and associated changes in predicted functional properties of the fiber-adherent microbial community over a 48 h period. Eight rumen-cannulated Holstein cows were randomly assigned to interrupted or continuous 60%-grain challenge model (n = 4 per model) to induce SARA conditions. Cows in the continuous model were challenged for 4 weeks, whereas cows of interrupted model had a 1-wk break in between challenges. To determine dynamics of rumen fiber-adherent microbial community we incubated the same hay from the diet samples for 24 and 48 h in situ during the baseline (no grain fed), week 1 and 4 of the continuous grain feeding model as well as during the week 1 following the break in the interrupted model. Microbial DNA was extracted and 16SrRNA amplicon (V3-V5 region) sequencing was done with the Illumina MiSeq platform. A significant decrease (P < 0.001) in fiber-adherent rumen bacterial species richness and diversity was observed at the end of a 4 week continuous SARA challenge in comparison to the baseline. A total of 159 operational taxonominc units (OTUs) were identified from the microbial population representing > 0.1% relative abundance in the rumen, 18 of which were significantly impacted by the feeding challenge model. Correlation analysis of the significant OTUs to rumen pH as an indicator of SARA showed genus Succiniclasticum had a positive correlation to SARA conditions regardless of treatment. Predictive analysis of functional microbial properties suggested that the glyoxylate/dicarboxylate pathway was increased in response to SARA conditions, decreased between 24h to 48h of incubation, negatively correlated with propanoate metabolism and positively correlated to members of the Veillonellaceae family including Succiniclasticum spp. This may indicate an adaptive response in bacterial metabolism under SARA conditions. This research clearly indicates that changes to the colonizing fiber-adherent rumen microbial population and their predicted functional genes occur in both the short (48 h) and long term (4 wk) under both continuous and interrupted SARA challenge models.

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