Programming rumen bacterial communities in newborn Merino lambs

De Barbieri, I., Hegarty, R. S., Silveira, C., Gulino, L. M., Oddy, V. H., Gilbert, R. A., Klieve, A. V. and Ouwerkerk, D. (2015) Programming rumen bacterial communities in newborn Merino lambs. Small Ruminant Research, 129 48-59. doi:10.1016/j.smallrumres.2015.05.015

Author De Barbieri, I.
Hegarty, R. S.
Silveira, C.
Gulino, L. M.
Oddy, V. H.
Gilbert, R. A.
Klieve, A. V.
Ouwerkerk, D.
Title Programming rumen bacterial communities in newborn Merino lambs
Journal name Small Ruminant Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0921-4488
Publication date 2015-08-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.smallrumres.2015.05.015
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 129
Start page 48
End page 59
Total pages 12
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Establishment of the rumen microbiome can be affected by both early-life dietary measures and rumen microbial inoculation. This study used a 2 × 3 factorial design to evaluate the effects of inclusion of dietary fat type and the effects of rumen inoculum from different sources on ruminal bacterial communities present in early stages of the lambs’ life. Two different diets were fed ad libitum to 36 pregnant ewes (and their lambs) from 1 month pre-lambing until weaning. Diets consisted of chaffed lucerne and cereal hay and 4% molasses, with either 4% distilled coconut oil (CO) provided as a source of rumen-active fat or 4% Megalac® provided as a source of rumen-protected fat (PF). One of three inoculums was introduced orally to all lambs, being either (1) rumen fluid from donor ewes fed the PF diet; (2) rumen fluid from donor ewes fed CO; or (3) a control treatment of MilliQ-water. After weaning at 3 months of age, each of the six lamb treatment groups were grazed in spatially separated paddocks. Rumen bacterial populations of ewes and lambs were characterised using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing of the V3/V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Species richness and biodiversity of the bacterial communities were found to be affected by the diet in ewes and lambs and by inoculation treatment of the lambs. Principal coordinate analysis and analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) showed between diet differences in bacterial community groups existed in ewes and differential bacterial clusters occurred in lambs due to both diet and neonatal inoculation. Diet and rumen inoculation acted together to clearly differentiate the bacterial communities through to weaning, however the microbiome effects of these initial early life interventions diminished with time so that rumen bacterial communities showed greater similarity 2 months after weaning. These results demonstrate that ruminal bacterial communities of newborn lambs can be altered by modifying the diet of their mothers. Moreover, the rumen microbiome of lambs can be changed by diet while they are suckling or by inoculating their rumen, and resulting changes in the rumen bacterial microbiome can persist beyond weaning.
Keyword Rumen microbiome
Early-life intervention
Rumen fluid inoculation
Protected fat
Coconut oil
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Official 2016 Collection
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 6 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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