Reduced-Particle-Size Wheat Bran Is Efficiently Colonized by a Lactic Acid-Producing Community and Reduces Levels of Enterobacteriaceae in the Cecal Microbiota of Broilers.Appl Environ Microbiol 2018; 84(21)AE
In the present study, we investigated whether reducing the particle size of wheat bran affects the colonizing microbial community using batch fermentations with cecal inocula from seven different chickens. We also investigated the effect of in-feed administration of regular wheat bran (WB; 1,690 μm) and wheat bran with reduced particle size (WB280; 280 μm) on the cecal microbial community composition of broilers. During batch fermentation, WB280 was colonized by a lactic acid-producing community (Bifidobacteriaceae and Lactobacillaceae) and by Lachnospiraceae that contain lactic acid-consuming butyric acid-producing species. The relative abundances of the Enterobacteriaceae decreased in the particle-associated communities for both WB and WB280 compared to that of the control. In addition, the community attached to wheat bran was enriched in xylan-degrading bacteria. When administered as a feed additive to broilers, WB280 significantly increased the richness of the cecal microbiota and the abundance of bacteria containing the butyryl-coenzyme A (CoA):acetate CoA-transferase gene, a key gene involved in bacterial butyrate production, while decreasing the abundances of Enterobacteriaceae family members in the ceca. Particle size reduction of wheat bran thus resulted in the colonization of the bran particles by a very specific lactic acid- and butyric acid-producing community and can be used to steer toward beneficial microbial shifts. This can potentially increase the resilience against pathogens and increase animal performance when the reduced-particle-size wheat bran is administered as a feed additive to broilers.IMPORTANCE Prebiotic dietary fibers are known to improve the gastrointestinal health of both humans and animals in many different ways. They can increase the bulking capacity, improve transit times, and, depending on the fiber, even stimulate the growth and activity of resident beneficial bacteria. Wheat bran is a readily available by-product of flour processing and is a highly concentrated source of (in)soluble dietary fiber. The intake of fiber-rich diets has been associated with increased Firmicutes and decreased Proteobacteria numbers. Here, we show that applying only 1% of a relatively simple substrate which was technically modified using relatively simple techniques reduces the concentration of Enterobacteriaceae This could imply that in future intervention studies, one should take the particle size of dietary fibers into account.