Effect of starch source (corn, oats or wheat) and concentration on fermentation by equine faecal microbiota in vitro

B. E. Harlow, T. M. Donley, L. M. Lawrence, M. D. Flythe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Aims: The goal was to determine the effect of starch source (corn, oats and wheat) and concentration on: (i) total amylolytic bacteria, Group D Gram-positive cocci (GPC), lactobacilli and lactate-utilizing bacteria, and (ii) fermentation by equine microbiota. Methods and Results: When faecal washed cell suspensions were incubated with any substrate amylolytics increased over time. However, at 24 h there were 10 and 1000-fold more amylolytics with corn than wheat or oats respectively. Predominant amylolytics isolated were Enterococcus faecalis (corn, wheat) and Streptococcus bovis (oats). GPC increased with any substrate, but decreased during stationary phase in oats only. Lactobacilli decreased during stationary phase with corn only. By 24 h, oats had more lactate-utilizers and lactobacilli and fewer GPC than corn and wheat. More gas was produced from oats or wheat than from corn. Conclusions: These results indicate that the growth of bacteria and fermentative capacity associated with starch metabolism is starch source dependent. Significance and Impact of the Study: This study demonstrates a relationship between starch source and microbial changes independent of host digestion. However, future research is needed to evaluate the effect of starch source on the hindgut microbial community in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1234-1244
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Applied Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Society for Applied Microbiology.


  • Enterococci
  • Hindgut acidosis
  • Horse
  • Lactobacillus
  • Streptococci

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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