Dietary supplements during the cold season increase rumen microbial abundance and improve rumen epithelium development in tibetan sheep

Xiao Ping Jing, Quan Hui Peng, Rui Hu, Hua Wei Zou, Hong Ze Wang, Xiao Qiang Yu, Jian Wei Zhou, Allan Degen, Zhi Sheng Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Livestock on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau are faced with extreme harsh winters and are often in negative energy balance during this period. Dietary supplementation can improve growth performance of Tibetan sheep and, consequently, we hypothesized that it would also increase microbial abundance and rumen epithelium development. To test this hypothesis, we examined the effect of feed supplementation during the cold season on rumen microbes, fermentation, epithelium development, and absorptive capability in Tibetan sheep. Eighteen 1-yr-old ewes (BW = 29.4 ± 1.79, kg) were offered oat hay ad libitum for 60 d and divided randomly into three groups: 1) no supplement; control group (CON); 2) urea-molasses lick block supplement (BS); and 3) concentrate feed supplement (CS). The ADG of CS ewes (143.3, g/d) was greater (P < 0.05) than BS ewes (87.9, g/d), which was greater (P < 0.05) than CON ewes (44.5, g/d). Serum concentrations of GH, IGF-1, and IGF-2 in the CS and BS groups were greater than in the CON group (P < 0.05). Greater relative abundance of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus, Fibrobacter succinogenes, Streptococcus bovis, and Ruminobacter amylophilus was observed in the CS and BS groups than in the CON group (P < 0.05), and relative abundances of rumen fungi, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, and Prevotella rumini-cola in the CS group were greater than in the BS and CON groups (P < 0.05). Ruminal total VFA, ammonia, and microbial protein concentrations in the CS and BS groups were greater than in the CON group (P < 0.05), and in the CS group were greater than in the BS group (P < 0.05). Ruminal papillae width and surface area in the CS and BS groups were greater than in the CON group (P < 0.05), while in the CS group were greater than in the BS group (P < 0.05). The mRNA expressions of IGFBP5, NHE1 (sodium/hydro-gen antiporter, isoform 1), DRA (downregulated in adenoma), and Na+/K+-ATPase (sodium/potas-sium ATPase pump) in ruminal epithelium were greater in the CS and BS groups than in the CON group (P < 0.05), and in the CS group was greater than in the BS group (P < 0.05), while NHE3 (sodium/hydrogen antiporter, isoform 3), MCT1 (monocarboxylate transporter 1), and MCT4 (monocarboxylate transporter 4) mRNA expressions in the CS group were greater than in the BS and CON groups (P < 0.05). It was concluded that supplementing Tibetan sheep during the cold season increases rumen microbial abundance and improves fermentation parameters, rumen epithelium development, and absorptive capability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-305
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Animal Science
Volume96
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2018

Keywords

  • Absorptive capability
  • Rumen morphology
  • Ruminal microbes
  • Supplementation in cold season
  • Tibetan sheep

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)

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