Aims: To determine the effects of wilting, storage period and bacterial inoculant on the bacterial community and ensiling fermentation of guinea grass silage. Methods and Results: Fermentation products, colony counts and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles were determined. There was more lactic acid than acetic acid in all silages, but the lactic acid to acetic acid ratio decreased with storage time. This shift from lactic to acetic acid was not prevented even with a combination of wilting and bacterial inoculant. The DGGE analyses suggest that facultatively heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis and Lactobacillus pentosus) were involved in the shift to acetic acid fermentation. Conclusions: Lactic acid can dominate the fermentation in tropical grass silage with sufficient wilting prior to ensiling. Prolonged storage may lead to high levels of acetic acid without distinctive changes in the bacterial community. Significance and Impact of the Study: The bacterial community looks stable compared to fermentation products over the course of long storage periods in tropical grass silage. Acetic acid fermentation in tropical grass silage can be a result of the changes in bacterial metabolism rather than community structure.
- Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis
- Tropical grass
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology