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Recent Advances In Silage Microbiology

Richard E. Muck
Published 2013 · Biology
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Recent advances in silage microbiology are reviewed. Most new techniques in silage microbiology use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to make copies of a portion of the DNA in microorganisms. These techniques allow us to identify and quantify species as well as do community analysis. The PCR-based techniques are uncovering new species, both bacteria and fungi, during storage and feeding. Silage inoculants are widely available, but of greater interest has been research investigating why inoculants are so successful. Various inoculant strains have been found to produce bacteriocins and other compounds that inhibit other bacteria and fungi, improving their chances for success. In vitro ruminal fermentation research is showing that some inoculated silages affect rumen microorganisms, reducing methane in some cases and increasing microbial biomass production in others. Better understanding of silage microbiology will allow us to better manage silos and develop better inoculants to improve silage quality.
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