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Effects of supplemental plant oils on rumen bacterial community profile and digesta fatty acid composition in a continuous culture system (RUSITEC)

Journal article
Authors J. E. Vargas
S. Andrés
Lorena López-Ferreras
S. López
Published in Anaerobe
Volume 61
ISSN 1075-9964
Publication year 2020
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Physiology
Language en
Subject categories Physiology


Lipid supplementation of ruminant diets may trigger changes in the ruminal microbiota and in anaerobic digestion. Changes in the bacterial community composition and in the fatty acid hydrogenation caused by the addition of different supplemental plant oils to a high concentrate diet were investigated in vitro using RUSITEC (rumen simulation technique) fermenters. The control (CTR) diet was a high-concentrate total mixed ration for dairy sheep, with no supplementary oil. The other experimental diets were supplemented with olive (OLV), sunflower (SFL) or linseed (LNS) oils at 6% (dry matter basis). Four RUSITEC fermenters were used for each experimental diet, all inoculated with rumen digesta of sheep. Extent of dry matter and fat degradation, composition of the bacterial community and long-chain fatty acids in digesta were determined. The addition of plant oils increased (P < 0.001) apparent degradation of fat in the fermenters, whereas fermentation kinetics (gas production and average fermentation rate) were lower (P < 0.05) with the LNS than with the CTR diet. Hydrogenation of C18 unsaturated fatty acids (P < 0.05), in particular that of oleic acid (P < 0.001), and stearic acid proportion (P < 0.001) were reduced, and oleic acid proportion was increased (P < 0.001) with all oil supplements. Addition of OLV decreased linoleic and LNS increased α-linolenic (P < 0.001), whereas conjugated linoleic was increased with SFL oil (P = 0.025) and vaccenic increased with both SFL and LNS oils (P = 0.008). Addition of 6% OLV and LNS reduced (P < 0.05) microbial community diversity and quantity of total bacteria relative to the control. Some specific microbial groups were affected (P < 0.001) by oil addition, with less relative abundance of Clostridiales and Actinobacteria and increased Bacteroidales, Aeromonadales and Lactobacillales species. In conclusion, the supplementation of high-concentrate ruminant diets with plant oils, in particular from sunflower or linseed, causes shifts in the rumen microbiota and fatty acid hydrogenation in the rumen increasing the formation of vaccenic and conjugated linoleic acids.

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