Previous studies have shown that adding fish oil (FO) to ruminant animal diets increased vaccenic acid (VA; t11 C18:1) accumulation in the rumen. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of dietary FO amounts on selected strains of rumen bacteria involved in biohydrogenation. A single-flow continuous culture system consisting of four fermenters was used in a 4 × 4 Latin square design with four 9 days consecutive periods. Treatment diets were as follows: (i) control diet (53:47 forage to concentrate; CON), (ii) control plus FO at 0.5% (DM basis; FOL), (iii) control plus FO at 2% (DM basis; FOM) and (iv) control plus FO at 3.5% (DM basis; FOH). Fermenters were fed treatment diets three times daily at 120 g/day. Samples were collected from each fermenter on day 9 of each period at 1.5, 3 and 6 h post-morning feeding and then composited into one sample per fermenter. Increasing dietary FO amounts resulted in a linear decrease in acetate and isobutyrate concentrations and a linear decrease in acetate-to-propionate ratio. Propionate, butyrate, valerate and isovalerate concentrations were not affected by FO supplementation. Concentrations of C18:0 in fermenters linearly decreased, while concentrations of t10 C18:1 and VA linearly increased as dietary FO amounts increased. The concentrations of c9t11 and t10c12 conjugated linoleic acid were not affected by FO supplementation. The DNA abundance for Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Butyrivibrio vaccenic acid subgroup, Butyrivibrio stearic acid subgroup and Butyrivibrio proteoclasticus linearly decreased as dietary FO amounts increased. In conclusion, FO effects on trans fatty acid accumulation in the rumen may be explained in part by FO influence on Butyrivibrio group.



Link to publisher version