Effect of Propionibacterium acidipropionici P169 on the rumen and faecal microbiota of beef cattle fed a maize-based finishing diet

E. Azad, N. Narvaez, H. Derakhshani, A. Y. Alazzeh, Y. Wang, T. A. McAllister, E. Khafipour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Direct fed microbial supplementation with lactic acid utilising bacteria (i.e. Propionibacterium acidipropionici P169) has been shown to alleviate the severity of subacute ruminal acidosis in high-grain fed beef cattle. This study was carried out to explore the impact of P169 supplementation on modulating rumen and hindgut microbiota of high-grain fed steers. Seven ruminally-canulated high-grain fed steers were randomly assigned to two treatment groups: control diet (n=3) and the same diet supplemented with P169 added at a rate of 1×1011 cfu/head/d (n=4). Samples were collected every 28 days for a 101 d period (5 time points) and subjected to qPCR quantification of P169 and high-throughput sequencing of bacterial V4 16S rRNA genes. Ruminal abundance of P169 was maintained at elevated levels (P=0.03) both in liquid and solid fractions post supplementation. Concomitant with decreased proportion of amylolytic (such as Prevotella) and key lactate-utilisers (such as Veillonellaceae and Megasphaera), the proportions of cellulolytic bacterial lineages (such as Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Clostridiaceae, and Christensenellaceae) were enriched in the rumen microbiota of P169-supplemented steers. These, coupled with elevated molar proportions of branched-chain fatty acids and increased concentration of ammonia in the rumen content of P169-supplemented steers, indicated an improved state of fibrolytic and proteolytic activity in response to P169 supplementation. Further, exploring the hindgut microbiota of P169-supplemented steers revealed enrichment of major amylolytic bacterial lineages, such as Prevotella, Blautia, and Succinivibrionaceae, which might be indicative of an increased availability of carbohydrates in the hindgut ecosystem following P169 supplementation. Collectively, the present study provides insights into the microbiota dynamics that underlie the P169-associated shifts in the rumen fermentation profile of high-grain fed steers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)785-799
Number of pages15
JournalBeneficial Microbes
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2017


  • 16S rRNA gene sequencing
  • Beef cattle
  • Propionibacterium acidipropionici P169
  • Rumen and faecal microbiota

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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