Effects of Nitrate Addition on Rumen Fermentation, Bacterial Biodiversity and Abundance

  • Zhao, Liping ;
  • Meng, Qingxiang ;
  • Ren, Liping ;
  • Liu, Wei ;
  • Zhang, Xinzhuang ;
  • Huo, Yunlong ;
  • Zhou, Zhenming
  • Received : 2015.01.31
  • Accepted : 2015.03.25
  • Published : 2015.10.01


This study examined changes of rumen fermentation, ruminal bacteria biodiversity and abundance caused by nitrate addition with Ion Torrent sequencing and real-time polymerase chain reaction. Three rumen-fistulated steers were fed diets supplemented with 0%, 1%, and 2% nitrate (dry matter %) in succession. Nitrate supplementation linearly increased total volatile fatty acids and acetate concentration obviously (p = 0.02; p = 0.02; p<0.01), butyrate and isovalerate concentration numerically (p = 0.07). The alpha (p>0.05) and beta biodiversityof ruminal bacteria were not affected by nitrate. Nitrate increased typical efficient cellulolytic bacteria species (Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Ruminococcus ablus, and Fibrobacter succinogenes) (p<0.01; p = 0.06; p = 0.02). Ruminobactr, Sphaerochaeta, CF231, and BF311 genus were increased by 1% nitrate. Campylobacter fetus, Selenomonas ruminantium, and Mannheimia succiniciproducens were core nitrate reducing bacteria in steers and their abundance increased linearly along with nitrate addition level (p<0.01; p = 0.02; p = 0.04). Potential nitrate reducers in the rumen, Campylobacter genus and Cyanobacteria phyla were significantly increased by nitrate (p<0.01; p = 0.01).To the best of our knowledge, this was the first detailed view of changes in ruminal microbiota by nitrate. This finding would provide useful information on nitrate utilization and nitrate reducer exploration in the rumen.


Nitrate;Rumen Fermentation;Bacterial Community;Ion Torrent Sequencing;Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction


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Supported by : National Natural Science Fund of China