Effects of alfalfa flavonoids extract on the microbial flora of dairy cow rumen

  • Zhan, Jinshun (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Liu, Mingmei (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Wu, Caixia (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Su, Xiaoshuang (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Zhan, Kang (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University) ;
  • Zhao, Guo qi (College of Animal Science and Technology, Yangzhou University)
  • Received : 2016.10.28
  • Accepted : 2017.01.28
  • Published : 2017.09.01


Objective: The effect of flavonoids from alfalfa on the microbial flora was determined using molecular techniques of 16S ribosome deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) analysis. Methods: Four primiparous Holstein heifers fitted with ruminal cannulas were used in a $4{\times}4$ Latin square design and fed a total mixed ration to which alfalfa flavonoids extract (AFE) was added at the rates of 0 (A, control), 20 (B), 60 (C), or 100 (D) mg per kg of heifer BW. Results: The number of operational taxonomic units in heifers given higher levels of flavonoid extract (C and D) was higher than for the two other treatments. The Shannon, Ace, and Chao indices for treatment C were significantly higher than for the other treatments (p<0.05). The number of phyla and genera increased linearly with increasing dietary supplementation of AFE (p<0.05). The principal co-ordinates analysis plot showed substantial differences in the microbial flora for the four treatments. The microbial flora in treatment A was similar to that in B, C, and D were similar by the weighted analysis. The richness of Tenericutes at the phylum level tended to increase with increasing AFE (p = 0.10). The proportion of Euryarchaeota at the phylum level increased linearly, whereas the proportion of Fusobacteria decreased linearly with increasing AFE supplementation (p = 0.04). The percentage of Mogibacterium, Pyramidobacter, and Asteroleplasma at the genus level decreased linearly with increasing AFE (p<0.05). The abundance of Spirochaeta, Succinivibrio, and Suttonella at the genus level tended to decrease linearly with increasing AFE (0.05


Flavonoids;Alfalfa;Microbial Flora;Dairy Cow


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China


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