Main content area

Bacterial and Protozoal Communities and Fatty Acid Profile in the Rumen of Sheep Fed a Diet Containing Added Tannins

Vasta, Valentina, Yáñez-Ruiz, David R., Mele, Marcello, Serra, Andrea, Luciano, Giuseppe, Lanza, Massimiliano, Biondi, Luisa, Priolo, Alessandro
Applied and environmental microbiology 2010 v.76 no.8 pp. 2549-2555
Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, bacterial communities, conjugated linoleic acid, diet, fatty acid composition, feed concentrates, lambs, rumen, stearic acid, tannins, vaccenic acid
This study evaluated the effects of tannins on ruminal biohydrogenation (BH) due to shifts in the ruminal microbial environment in sheep. Thirteen lambs (45 days of age) were assigned to two dietary treatments: seven lambs were fed a barley-based concentrate (control group) while the other six lambs received the same concentrate with supplemental quebracho tannins (9.57% of dry matter). At 122 days of age, the lambs were slaughtered, and the ruminal contents were subjected to fatty acid analysis and sampled to quantify populations of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, which converts C₁₈:₂ c9-c12 (linoleic acid [LA]) to C₁₈:₂ c9-t11 (rumenic acid [RA]) and then RA to C₁₈:₁ t11 (vaccenic acid [VA]); we also sampled for Butyrivibrio proteoclasticus, which converts VA to C₁₈:₀ (stearic acid [SA]). Tannins increased (P < 0.005) VA in the rumen compared to the tannin-free diet. The concentration of SA was not affected by tannins. The SA/VA ratio was lower (P < 0.005) for the tannin-fed lambs than for the controls, suggesting that the last step of the BH process was inhibited by tannins. The B. proteoclasticus population was lower (-30.6%; P < 0.1), and B. fibrisolvens and protozoan populations were higher (+107% and +56.1%, respectively; P < 0.05) in the rumen of lambs fed the tannin-supplemented diet than in controls. These results suggest that quebracho tannins altered BH by changing ruminal microbial populations.