Effect of grape pomace supplement on growth performance, gastrointestinal microbiota, and methane production in Tan lambs

Xindong Cheng, Xia Du, Yanping Liang, Abraham Allan Degen, Xiukun Wu, Kaixi Ji, Qiaoxian Gao, Guosheng Xin, Haitao Cong, Guo Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Grape pomace (GP), a by-product in wine production, is nutritious and can be used as a feed ingredient for ruminants; however, its role in shaping sheep gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota is unclear. We conducted a controlled trial using a randomized block design with 10 Tan lambs fed a control diet (CD) and 10 Tan lambs fed a pelleted diet containing 8% GP (dry matter basis) for 46 days. Rumen, jejunum, cecum, and colon bacterial and archaeal composition were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Dry matter intake (DMI) was greater (p < 0.05) in the GP than CD group; however, there was no difference in average daily gain (ADG, p < 0.05) and feed conversion ratio (FCR, p < 0.05) between the two groups. The GP group had a greater abundance of Prevotella 1 and Prevotella 7 in the rumen; of Sharpe, Ruminococcaceae 2, and [Ruminococcus] gauvreauii group in the jejunum; of Ruminococcaceae UCG-014 and Romboutsia in the cecum, and Prevotella UCG-001 in the colon; but lesser Rikenellaceae RC9 gut group in the rumen and cecum, and Ruminococcaceae UCG-005 and Ruminococcaceae UCG-010 in the colon than the CD group. The pathways of carbohydrate metabolism, such as L-rhamnose degradation in the rumen, starch and glycogen degradation in the jejunum, galactose degradation in the cecum, and mixed acid fermentation and mannan degradation in the colon were up-graded; whereas, the pathways of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle VIII, and pyruvate fermentation to acetone in the rumen and colon were down-graded with GP. The archaeal incomplete reductive TCA cycle was enriched in the rumen, jejunum, and colon; whereas, the methanogenesis from H2 and CO2, the cofactors of methanogenesis, including coenzyme M, coenzyme B, and factor 420 biosynthesis were decreased in the colon. The study concluded that a diet including GP at 8% DM did not affect ADG or FCR in Tan lambs. However, there were some potential benefits, such as enhancing propionate production by microbiota and pathways in the GIT, promoting B-vitamin production in the rumen, facilitating starch degradation and amino acid biosynthesis in the jejunum, and reducing methanogenesis in the colon.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1264840
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
StatePublished - 28 Sep 2023


  • hindgut
  • methanogenesis
  • microbiome
  • rumen
  • wine by-product

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)


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