Animal Science Department


Date of this Version



Scientific Reports (June 6, 2017) 7: 2864. DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-02856-0.


U.S. government work.


The rumen has a central role in the efficiency of digestion in ruminants. To identify potential differences in rumen function that lead to differences in average daily gain (ADG), rumen fluid metabolomic analysis by LC-MS and multivariate/univariate statistical analysis were used to identify differences in rumen metabolites. Individual feed intake and body-weight was measured on 144 steers during 105 d on a high concentrate ration. Eight steers with the greatest ADG and 8 steers with the least-ADG with dry matter intake near the population average were selected. Blood and rumen fluid was collected from the 16 steers 26 d before slaughter and at slaughter, respectively. As a result of the metabolomics analysis of rumen fluid, 33 metabolites differed between the ADG groups based on t-test, fold changes and partial least square discriminant analysis. These metabolites were primarily involved in linoleic and alpha-linolenic metabolism (impact-value 1.0 and 0.75, respectively; P < 0.05); both pathways were down-regulated in the greatest-ADG compared with least-ADG group. Ruminal biohydrogenation might be associated with the overall animal production. The fatty acids were quantified in rumen and plasma using targeted MS to validate and evaluate the simple combination of metabolites that effectively predict ADG.