Animal Science, Food Science and Human Nutrition
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Reduced-fat dried distillers’ grains with solubles (RF-DDGSs) are co-products of ethanol production and contain less fat than traditional distillers’ grains. The fat in corn is ~91% unsaturated, and it is toxic to rumen microorganisms so it could influence the composition of the rumen microbiome. It has been demonstrated that RF-DDGS is a suitable ration ingredient to support the high-producing dairy cow, and this feedstuff is a promising alternative protein source for lactating dairy cows. The current study aims to better understand the effect of RF-DDGS on the rumen and fecal bacterial composition in lactating dairy cows. Thirty-six multiparous (two or three), mid-lactation Holstein cows (BW = 680 ± 11 kg; 106 ± 27 DIM) were randomly assigned to two groups which were fed a control diet made up of corn, corn silage, and alfalfa hay supplemented with expeller soybean meal or with added RF-DDGS (20% of the DM) containing approximately 6.0% fat. Whole rumen contents (rumen fluid and digesta; esophageal tubing method) and feces (free-catch method) were collected on day 35 of the experimental period, after the 14-d acclimation period. Rumen contents and feces from each cow were used for DNA extraction. The bacterial community composition in rumen and fecal samples was assessed via the 16S rRNA gene by using the Illumina MiSeq sequencing platform. Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Firmicutes were the most abundant phyla in rumen contents. The fecal microbiota was dominated by the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, as well as Actinobacteria and Chloroflexi. RF-DGGS increased bacterial richness, evenness, and Shannon diversity in both rumen and fecal samples and was associated with several taxa that had different abundance in treatment versus control comparisons. The RF-DGGS, however, did not significantly alter the bacterial community in the rumen or feces. In general, these findings demonstrated that dietary inclusion of RF-DDGS did not impose any serious short-term (within 30 days) health or production consequences, as would be expected. With this study, we present further evidence that inclusion of 20% (DM basis) RF-DDGS in the diet of lactating dairy cows can be done without consequence on the microbiome of the rumen.
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Dankwa, Adwoa S.; Humagain, Usha; Ishaq, Suzanne L.; Yeoman, Carl J.; Clark, Stephanie; Beitz, Donald C.; and Testroet, Eric D., "Bacterial communities in the rumen and feces of lactating Holstein dairy cows are not affected when fed reduced-fat dried distillers’ grains with solubles" (2021). Food Science and Human Nutrition Publications. 244.