Effects of Acarbose Addition on Ruminal Bacterial Microbiota, Lipopolysaccharide Levels and Fermentation Characteristics In vitro

  • Yin, Yu-Yang (College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Liu, Yu-Jie (College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Zhu, Wei-Yun (College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University) ;
  • Mao, Sheng-Yong (College of Animal Science and Technology, Nanjing Agricultural University)
  • Received : 2014.04.22
  • Accepted : 2014.08.04
  • Published : 2014.12.01


This study investigated the effects of acarbose addition on changes in ruminal fermentation characteristics and the composition of the ruminal bacterial community in vitro using batch cultures. Rumen fluid was collected from the rumens of three cannulated Holstein cattle fed forage ad libitum that was supplemented with 6 kg of concentrate. The batch cultures consisted of 8 mL of strained rumen fluid in 40 mL of an anaerobic buffer containing 0.49 g of corn grain, 0.21 g of soybean meal, 0.15 g of alfalfa and 0.15g of Leymus chinensis. Acarbose was added to incubation bottles to achieve final concentrations of 0.1, 0.2, and 0.4 mg/mL. After incubation for 24 h, the addition of acarbose linearly decreased (p<0.05) the total gas production and the concentrations of acetate, propionate, butyrate, total volatile fatty acids, lactate and lipopolysaccharide (LPS). It also linearly increased (p<0.05) the ratio of acetate to propionate, the concentrations of isovalerate, valerate and ammonia-nitrogen and the pH value compared with the control. Pyrosequencing of the 16S rRNA gene showed that the addition of acarbose decreased (p<0.05) the proportion of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria and increased (p<0.05) the percentage of Bacteroidetes, Fibrobacteres, and Synergistetes compared with the control. A principal coordinates analysis plot based on unweighted UniFrac values and molecular variance analysis revealed that the structure of the ruminal bacterial communities in the control was different to that of the ruminal microbiota in the acarbose group. In conclusion, acarbose addition can affect the composition of the ruminal microbial community and may be potentially useful for preventing the occurrence of ruminal acidosis and the accumulation of LPS in the rumen.


Acarbose;Ruminal Microbiota;Pyrosequencing;In vitro Fermentation


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