Diversity of bacterial community during ensiling and subsequent exposure to air in whole-plant maize silage

  • Hu, Zongfu (College of Animal Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities) ;
  • Chang, Jie (College of Animal Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities) ;
  • Yu, Jianhua (College of Animal Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities) ;
  • Li, Shuguo (College of Animal Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities) ;
  • Niu, Huaxin (College of Animal Science and Technology, Inner Mongolia University for Nationalities)
  • Received : 2017.11.23
  • Accepted : 2018.04.18
  • Published : 2018.09.01


Objective: To describe in-depth sequencing, the bacterial community diversity and its succession during ensiling of whole-plant maize and subsequent exposure to air. Methods: The microbial community dynamics of fermented whole-plant maize for 60 days (sampled on day 5, 10, 20, 40, 60) and subsequent aerobic exposure (sampled on day 63 after exposure to air for 3 days) were explored using Illumina Miseq sequence platform. Results: A total of 227,220 effective reads were obtained. At the genus level, there were 12 genera with relative abundance >1%, Lactobacillus, Klebsiella, Sporolactobacillus, Norank-c-cyanobacteria, Pantoea, Pediococcus, Rahnella, Sphingomonas, Serratia, Chryseobacterium, Sphingobacterium, and Lactococcus. Lactobacillus consistently dominated the bacterial communities with relative abundance from 49.56% to 64.17% during the ensiling process. Klebsiella was also an important succession bacterium with a decrease tendency from 15.20% to 6.41% during the ensiling process. The genus Sporolactobacillus appeared in late-ensiling stages with 7.70% abundance on day 40 and 5.32% on day 60. After aerobic exposure, the Lactobacillus decreased its abundance from 63.2% on day 60 to 45.03% on d 63, and Klebsiella from 5.51% to 5.64%, while Sporolactobacillus greatly increased its abundance to 28.15%. These bacterial genera belong to 5 phyla: Firmicutes (relative abundance: 56.38% to 78.43%) was dominant, others were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Cyanobacteria, and Actinobacteria. The bacterial communities clearly clustered into early-ensiling (d 5), medium-ensiling (d 10, d 20), late-ensiling (d 40, d 60), and aerobic exposure (d 63) clusters, with early- and late-ensiling communities more like each other than to the aerobic exposure communities. Conclusion: High-throughput sequencing based on 16S rRNA genes proved to be a useful method to explore bacterial communities of silage. The results indicated that the bacterial communities varied during fermentation and more dramatically during aerobic exposure. The study is valuable for understanding the mechanism of population change and the relationship between bacteria and ensilage characteristics.


High-through Sequence;Bacterial Community;Diversity;Lactic Acid Bacteria;Whole-plant Maize Silage


Supported by : National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), Natural Science Foundation of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region


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