Effect of prolonged feeding of a sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) based diet on methanogenic community in the rumen of dairy cows

A. Guglielmelli, O. Perez, F. Tiemessen, M. Domenis, S. Albanese, S. Calabrò, H.S. Smidt, W.F. Pellikaan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstractAcademic

Abstract

An in vivo trial was conducted to investigate the effect of sainfoin tannins on methanogen numbers and rumen fermentation, and to assess adaptive behaviour of rumen microbiota while cows were maintained on sainfoin for an 8-wk period. Three ruminally fistulated dairy cows were placed on a lucerne-based ‘uniformity’ diet for a 2-wk period to allow animals to adapt to a tannin-free legume-based diet. After two weeks, the lucerne was exchanged for sainfoin. During the first 5 d of sainfoin feeding, animals received polyethylene glycol (PEG4000) intraruminally. Thereafter, the animals remained on their sainfoin-based diet for seven more weeks. Samples of rumen fluid were analysed for volatile fatty acids (VFA), ammonia (NH3), the number of protozoa and methanogenic Archaea. There was a significant (P=0.05) decrease in the number of protozoa in the first week after changing to the sainfoin diet. During the subsequent weeks of sainfoin feeding, the number of protozoa showed an increase at days 12, 15 and 37 after PEG treatment, however, their numbers remained numerically lower than during the sainfoin+PEG treatment (6.00 log10/mL). The Archaea followed a similar tendency but animal variation was considerably higher and the decreases were non-significant. Interestingly, this decrease began during PEG administration. Total VFA and NH3 follow a pattern similar to the protozoa numbers during the first week. Total VFA did not differ between the uniformity (124.5 mmol/L) and sainfoin+PEG diet (122.5 mmol/L), but a distinct decrease was observed after PEG treatment was stopped, with greatest effects on day 1 and day 4 (P=0.082). Ammonia showed a numerical decrease when animals changed from uniformity diet (138 mg/L) to the sainfoin+PEG diet (85.4 mg/L; P=0.267), followed by a further decrease during the first five days after stopping PEG treatment (54.4 mg/L; P=0.088). Results suggest that PEG may not have been fully successful in completely blocking the effect of tannins, which is reflected in the numerical decline in protozoa and Archaea during PEG administration. Sainfoin tannins resulted in a partial inhibition of protozoa and methanogens. The initial decrease and successive increase in total VFA suggests that fermentation activity is not negatively affected by sainfoin. The consistent lower ruminal NH3 with sainfoin compared to lucerne suggests a protective effect of tannins on dietary protein. The tendencies of the different parameters suggest that the microbial population (protozoa, Archaea, other bacteria) respond in different ways to the sainfoin diet over time, suggesting adaptation to the dietary conditions
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationListing of Abstracts to be presented at Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture conference, 3-8 October 2010, Banff, Canada
Place of PublicationBanff, Canada
PublisherGreenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture Conference
Pages140-141
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event4th Greenhouse Gases & Animal Agriculture conference, Banff, Canada -
Duration: 3 Oct 20108 Oct 2010

Conference

Conference4th Greenhouse Gases & Animal Agriculture conference, Banff, Canada
Period3/10/108/10/10

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of prolonged feeding of a sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) based diet on methanogenic community in the rumen of dairy cows'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Guglielmelli, A., Perez, O., Tiemessen, F., Domenis, M., Albanese, S., Calabrò, S., Smidt, H. S., & Pellikaan, W. F. (2010). Effect of prolonged feeding of a sainfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia Scop.) based diet on methanogenic community in the rumen of dairy cows. In Listing of Abstracts to be presented at Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture conference, 3-8 October 2010, Banff, Canada (pp. 140-141). Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture Conference.