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Shifts in fermentation end products and bacterial community composition in long-term, sequentially transferred in vitro ruminal enrichment cultures fed switchgrass with and without ethanol as a co-substrate

Lin, Miao, Dai, Xiaoxia, Weimer, Paul J.
Bioresource technology 2019 v.285 pp. 121324
Panicum virgatum, bacterial communities, community structure, distillers grains, ethanol, fermentation, fermented foods, inoculum, medium chain fatty acids, pH
In vitro ruminal fermentations resemble in vivo fermentations with respect to substrate consumption and distribution of fermentation products in short term (1–5 d) incubations. However, little is known regarding changes in in vitro fermentations over prolonged incubation or multiple transfers. Gas production, pH, fermentation products, and bacterial community composition were examined in duplicate in vitro fermentations of switchgrass plus distillers grains that were transferred at 3–4 d intervals over 900 d. Additionally, duplicate fermentations inoculated from 160 d-old enrichments into the same medium but supplemented with ethanol, and transferred at 3–4 d over a 730 d period were characterized. SWG and SWG + E fermentation showed marked differences in community composition, pH, total product concentrations and ratios, relative to each other and to the original inoculum. The results have implications for the use of ruminal inocula for industrial production of short- and medium-chain fatty acids via the carboxylate platform.