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J Dairy Sci. 2019 Jun;102(6):5019-5030. doi: 10.3168/jds.2018-15704. Epub 2019 Mar 28.

Graded replacement of corn grain with molassed sugar beet pulp modulates the fecal microbial community and hindgut fermentation profile in lactating dairy cows.

Author information

1
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: renee.petri@vetmeduni.ac.at.
2
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria.
3
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 1210 Vienna, Austria. Electronic address: fenja.klevenhusen@bfr.bund.de.

Abstract

High starch lactation diets not only enhance the risk of subacute ruminal acidosis but also of hindgut acidosis, which increases the risk of dysbiosis and the depression of fiber degradation. We recently showed that replacing corn with molassed sugar beet pulp (Bp) improved fiber degradation in high-producing dairy cattle, possibly because of an improvement of rumen and hindgut conditions for microbes by Bp feeding. However, little is known about the effects of high inclusion rates of Bp on hindgut microbes and fermentation. Thus fecal grab samples were taken from 18 high-yielding Simmental cows after 28 d of feeding 3 different levels of Bp (n = 6) for bacterial 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing. In addition, the reticular pH was continuously monitored with indwelling sensors and eating and ruminating behavior was evaluated with noseband sensors. The Bp inclusion rates were 0 g/kg (i.e., no Bp inclusion as control, CON), 120 g/kg (12Bp), or 240 g/kg (24Bp) replacing corn grain and limestone on a dry matter basis. The amount of time spent eating and ruminating was unaffected by Bp level, and the daily fluctuation in the reticular pH was reduced by 25% with Bp inclusion from 0.8 in the CON diet to 0.6 in 24Bp fed animals. Also, the fecal pH tended to increase with dietary Bp inclusion. Fecal acetate production showed a quadratic tendency with the lowest concentration (58.9%) of the total short-chain fatty acid in the 12Bp treatment. Inclusion of Bp up to 24% of the diet decreased the fecal butyrate proportion by 27%. The Shannon diversity index was increased from 5.50 to 8.09 with dietary Bp inclusion indicating increased species diversity. Of the 200 most abundant operational taxonomic units, 25 were increased by dietary Bp inclusion, whereas 15 were decreased and 7 were quadratically affected. The second most abundant group was proposed taxon "CF231" of the family Paraprevotellaceae. Although it accounted for only 2.52% of the operational taxonomic units in the CON diet, it was increased by 64% with dietary Bp inclusion. The largest relative change in the abundance was found for the genus Fibrobacter that increased more than 14-fold from 0.04% (CON) to 0.66% (24Bp). In conclusion, feeding molassed sugar beet pulp as partial substitution of corn up to 240 g/kg is a viable alternative that promotes ruminal and hindgut fermentation by supporting physiological pH and bacterial diversity.

KEYWORDS:

fiber; microbe; subacute ruminal acidosis; sugar beet pulp

PMID:
30928269
DOI:
10.3168/jds.2018-15704

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