Rumen Microbe – Lactobacillus spp.

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Today’s microbe includes species of the genus Lactobacillus. Lactobacillus species are rod-shaped, Gram-positive bacteria commonly known for their production of lactic acid. Image courtesy of NC Cooperative -Extension.

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This feature was created by: Taylor Ault Seay

a cow and calves
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cattle eating from a bunk

​Ruminal abundances of Lactobacilli are greater in cattle fed a high starch diet. Image courtesy of Drovers.

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cattle laying in a field

Lactobacillus spp. in the rumen can grow quickly when the rumen pH is low, causing rapid production of lactic acid, also contributing to lowering the rumen pH, and ultimately leading to health complications such as acidosis. Image courtesy of Simme Valley.

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colorized bacterial cells

​Beyond the rumen, although highly dominant and indicative of a healthy reproductive tract in humans, Lactobacillus abundances are low in the bovine reproductive tract​. Image courtesy of SciMAT/Photo Researchers, Inc.

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a cow and calf looking at the camera

Beyond the rumen, recent studies suggest the administration of Lactobacilli to the vagina of cows prior to calving may decrease the prevalence of postpartum metritis. Image courtesy of Angus Australia.

Follow this link to view all of the interactive presentations for the Rumen Microbes series.