Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.101, No.16, 6355-6364, 2017
Variability, stability, and resilience of fecal microbiota in dairy cows fed whole crop corn silage
The microbiota of whole crop corn silage and feces of silage-fed dairy cows were examined. A total of 18 dairy cow feces were collected from six farms in Japan and China, and high-throughput Illumina sequencing of the V4 hypervariable region of 16S rRNA genes was performed. Lactobacillaceae were dominant in all silages, followed by Acetobacteraceae, Bacillaceae, and Enterobacteriaceae. In feces, the predominant families were Ruminococcaceae, Bacteroidaceae, Clostridiaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Rikenellaceae, and Paraprevotellaceae. Therefore, Lactobacillaceae of corn silage appeared to be eliminated in the gastrointestinal tract. Although fecal microbiota composition was similar in most samples, relative abundances of several families, such as Ruminococcaceae, Christensenellaceae, Turicibacteraceae, and Succinivibrionaceae, varied between farms and countries. In addition to the geographical location, differences in feeding management between total mixed ration feeding and separate feeding appeared to be involved in the variations. Moreover, a cow-to-cow variation for concentrateassociated families was demonstrated at the same farm; two cows showed high abundance of Succinivibrionaceae and Prevotellaceae, whereas another had a high abundance of Porphyromonadaceae. There was a negative correlation between forage-associated Ruminococcaceae and concentrate-associated Succinivibrionaceae and Prevotellaceae in 18 feces samples. Succinivibrionaceae, Prevotellaceae, p-253418B5, and Spirochaetaceae were regarded as highly variable taxa in this study. These findings help to improve our understanding of variation and similarity of the fecal microbiota of dairy cows with regard to individuals, farms, and countries. Microbiota of naturally fermented corn silage had no influence on the fecal microbiota of dairy cows.