Lactobacillus Plantarum: Probiotic for Ruminal Fermentation


Lactobacillus Plantarum: Probiotic for Ruminal Fermentation

Ruminant efficiency can be improved by increasing feed utilization through the manipulation of the microbial ecosystem of the rumen. The use of living microbial supplements as pro-biotic provides a suitable alternative to antibiotics, because it does not leave residues or cause toxicity in livestock products. Pro-biotic is living microbial feed supplements that may beneficially affect the host animal upon ingestion by improving its intestinal microbial balance1.

Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are suitable microorganisms for ruminant fermentation. One LAB that has the potential to serve as a pro-biotic is Lactobacillus plantarum, which produces lactic acid from their metabolism. The addition of L. plantarum cultures to in vitro rumen fermentation can increase propionic production and decrease acetic acid production and cumulative methane production2.

In contrast, another in vitro study has reported no reductions in methane production. There is also evidence that L. plantarum significantly increased digested organic matter and increased total volatile fatty acid (VFA) production. The effect of L. plantarum on in vitro rumen fermentation was influenced by dosage and the bacterial strain used in the experiment3.

The cause of improved animal performance by the addition of LAB is not completely clear and the response in ruminants is inconsistent. Strain differences affect the probiotic ability to improve rumen fermentation. Information on the effect of L. plantarum addition on rumen fermentation is lacking in the literature.

Therefore researchers carried a new study to select L. plantarum strains that have a beneficial effect on rumen fermentation. The objective of this study was to select L. plantarum strains as probiotics for ruminants and to evaluate the effect of the L. plantarum addition on in vitro rumen fermentation and the microbial population4.

The selection of L. plantarum strains as candidates for ruminant probiotics was based on their gas production and rumen disappearance during in vitro rumen fermentation. The total gas production results showed that L. plantarum strain U32 produced the highest gas. The addition of a probiotic must have a beneficial effect for rumen fermentation, such as increased feed digestibility or lowered methane production. A different result was obtained when % methane/total gas production was calculated, which showed strain U90 as the lowest methane producer.

Based on results from the experiments, L. plantarum strains U32 and U40 were selected as probiotics for ruminants based on their potential to affect rumen fermentation. The results also indicated that the addition of L. plantarum has beneficial effects in the rumen. The addition of L. plantarum strains U32 and U40 on in vitro rumen fermentation as probiotics changed toward more efficient rumen fermentation by increased propionic acid and lowered acetic acid proportions, indicating lower methane production, which provides higher energy for the animal.


Lactobacillus plantarum, probiotic, lactic acid bacteria, methane, rumen fermentation, different strains, U32 and U40, propionic acid, acetic acid proportions, microbial population.


  1. Fuller, R., 1989. Probiotics in man and animals. Applied Bacteriol., 66: 365-378.
  2. O’Brien, M., T. Hashimoto, A. Senda, T. Nishida and J. Takahashi, 2013. The impact of Lactobacillus plantarum TUA1490L supernatant on in vitro rumen methanogenesis and fermentation. Anaerobe, 22: 137-140.
  3. Ellis, J.L., A. Bannink, I.K. Hindrichsen, R.D. Kinley, W.F. Pellikaan, N. Milora and J. Dijkstra, 2016. The effect of lactic acid bacteria included as a probiotic or silage inoculant on in vitro rumen digestibility, total gas and methane production. Feed Sci. Technol., 211: 61-74.
  4. Astuti, W.D., Wiryawan, K.G., Wina, E., Widyastuti, Y., Suharti, S. and Ridwan, R., 2018. Effects of Selected Lactobacillus plantarum as Probiotic on in vitro Ruminal Fermentation and Microbial Population. J. Nutri., 17: 131-139.