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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3JW8717J
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Development of ruminal and fecal microbiomes are affected by weaning but not weaning strategy in dairy calves Open Access
- Author or creator
Meale, Sarah J.
Plaizier, Jan C.
Steele, Michael A.
- Additional contributors
16S rRNA Gene Sequencing
Holstein Dairy Calves
MiSeq Illumina Sequencing
- Type of item
- Journal Article (Published)
The nature of weaning, considered the most stressful and significant transition experienced by dairy calves, influences the ability of a calf to adapt to the dramatic dietary shift, and thus, can influence the severity of production losses through the weaning transition. However, the effects of various feeding strategies on the development of rumen or fecal microbiota across weaning are yet to be examined. Here we characterized the pre- and post-weaning ruminal and fecal microbiomes of Holstein dairy calves exposed to two different weaning strategies, gradual (step-down) or abrupt. We describe the shifts toward a mature ruminant state, a transition which is hastened by the introduction of the solid feeds initiating ruminal fermentation. Additionally, we discuss the predicted functional roles of these communities, which also appear to represent that of the mature gastrointestinal system prior to weaning, suggesting functional maturity. This assumed state of readiness also appeared to negate the effects of weaning strategy on ruminal and fecal microbiomes and therefore, we conclude that the shift in gastrointestinal microbiota may not account for the declines in gain and intakes observed in calves during an abrupt weaning.
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Meale, S. J., Li, S. C., Azevedo, P., Derakhshani, H., Plaizier, J. C., Khafipour, E., & Steele, M. A. (2016). Development of ruminal and fecal microbiomes are affected by weaning but not weaning strategy in dairy calves. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7(582), [16 pages]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2016.00582
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File title: Development of Ruminal and Fecal Microbiomes Are Affected by Weaning But Not Weaning Strategy in Dairy Calves
File author: Ehsan Khafipour and Michael A. Steele
Page count: 16