Natural Lactic Acid Bacteria Population and Silage Fermentation of Whole-crop Wheat

  • Ni, Kuikui (Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bio-engineering, Zhengzhou University) ;
  • Wang, Yanping (Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bio-engineering, Zhengzhou University) ;
  • Cai, Yimin (National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science) ;
  • Pang, Huili (Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bio-engineering, Zhengzhou University)
  • Received : 2014.12.22
  • Accepted : 2015.03.02
  • Published : 2015.08.01


Winter wheat is a suitable crop to be ensiled for animal feed and China has the largest planting area of this crop in the world. During the ensiling process, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play the most important role in the fermentation. We investigated the natural population of LAB in whole-crop wheat (WCW) and examined the quality of whole-crop wheat silage (WCWS) with and without LAB inoculants. Two Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum strains, Zhengzhou University 1 (ZZU 1) selected from corn and forage and grass 1 (FG 1) from a commercial inoculant, were used as additives. The silages inoculated with LAB strains (ZZU 1 and FG 1) were better preserved than the control, with lower pH values (3.5 and 3.6, respectively) (p<0.05) and higher contents of lactic acid (37.5 and 34.0 g/kg of fresh matter (FM), respectively) (p<0.05) than the control. Sixty LAB strains were isolated from fresh material and WCWS without any LAB inoculation. These LAB strains were divided into the following four genera and six species based on their phenotypic, biochemical and phylogenetic characteristics: Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, Weissella cibaria, Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis, Lactobacillus buchneri, and Lactobacillus plantarum subsp. plantarum. However, the prevalent LAB, which was predominantly heterofermentative (66.7%), consisted of Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, Leuconostoc citreum, Weissella cibaria, and Lactobacillus buchneri. This study revealed that most of isolated LAB strains from control WCWS were heterofermentative and could not grow well at low pH condition; the selective inoculants of Lactobacillus strains, especially ZZU 1, could improve WCWS quality significantly.


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