Rumen Microbes – Megasphaera elsdenii

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Megasphaera elsdenii are anaerobic, Gram-negative, and coccus (spherical shaped). M. elsdenii is one of the more important lactic acid utilizing microorganisms in the rumen of beef and dairy cattle adapted to high-concentrate diets.​

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This interactive image was created by Brooke Clemmons

three cattle eating hay
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image of a Lactipro product

​Megasphaera elsdenii has been used recently as a probiotic/direct-fed microbial to mitigate the effects of ruminal acidosis on high-grain diets. Image courtesy of Lactipro. 

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chemical structure of lactic acid and lactate

​Megasphaera elsdenii is a lactate- and sugar-fermenting species, generating butyrate from lactate.

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ear of corn resting on corn kernels

Megasphaera elsdenii is often found during periods of ruminal acidosis, when pH decreases. The microbe can help mitigate effects of acidosis by fermenting lactose and sugars that can lead to the condition.

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petri dish with bacterial colonies

​Megasphaera elsdenii has positive relationship with Streptococcus bovis, likely due to S. bovis production of lactate.

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