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Changes in early milk composition has subsequent effects on microbial composition of the rumen.

A. Nin-Velez



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Changes in early milk composition has subsequent effects on microbial composition of the rumen.
A. Nin-Velez*1, J. Duncan1, H. Cunningham-Hollinger2, K. Austin2, K. Cammack2, W. Lamberson3, R. Cockrum1. 1Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA, 2University of Wyoming Laramie, WY, 3University of Missouri Columbia, MO.

Components within early milk provide continual inoculation of microbial species within the calf gut. The gut microbiome stimulates development of epithelial tissue and immune cell differentiation. Though limited research suggests milk components are influenced by mode of birth, it is unknown how the maternal environment influences the composition of early milk. We hypothesized that mode of birth would impact early milk composition, and, in turn, influence the microbial taxa in the calf gut. Early milk samples were collected from Charolaise (n = 35) and Angus (n = 34) dams on d 1, 3, and 28 postpartum who underwent vaginal (VD) or cesarean (CD) delivery. Components and fatty acid composition were determined for milk samples. Calf rumen fluid samples were obtained for d 1, 3, and 28 and were used for metagenomic sequencing. Samples were run on the Illumina HiSeq 2500 platform as paired end reads. Mode of birth was regressed on milk composition for each day using the GLM procedure in SAS. The GENMOD procedure was conducted with milk components being regressed against microbial counts. Results indicated that VD dams were more likely to have increased protein, solid nonfat (SNF), and lactose (P = 0.001) on d 1 and 3, but decreased urea concentrations (P < 0.001). Similarly, short, medium, and long-chain fatty acids were increased (P = 0.051) in VD d 3 milk. True protein elicited a decrease (P = 0.033) in rumen fluid Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria; whereas, both SNF and lactose were associated with an increased (P = 0.049) response in d 1 milk. Based on these results, we suggest that mode of birth influences protein concentrations in early milk, and even though we can see some changes to microbial abundance the overall dynamics of the calf rumen microbiome are relatively stable in response to changes in milk composition.