Aims: To isolate predominant ruminal bacteria that produce trans-10, cis-12 conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) from linoleic acid (LA).
Methods and results: Mixed bacteria from ruminal contents of a cow fed grain were enriched with DL-lactate and trypticase. They produced more trans-10, cis-12 CLA than those that were not enriched (7 vs 2 microg mg protein(-1), P < 0.05). Enrichments had an abundance of large cocci that produced trans-10, cis-12 CLA from LA. Strain YJ-4 produced the most trans-10, cis-12 CLA (approx. 7 microg mg protein(-1)) and 16S rDNA sequencing indicated that YJ-4 was a strain of Megasphaera elsdenii. Megasphaera elsdenii T81 produced approx. 4 microg trans-10, cis-12 CLA mg protein(-1) while strains B159, AW106 and JL1 produced < 0.5 microg mg protein(-1). The trans-10, cis-12 CLA production of YJ-4 was first order with respect to cell concentration (0-800 microg protein ml(-1)), but kinetics were not first order with respect to substrate concentration.
Conclusions: Some M. elsdenii strains produce significant amounts of trans-10, cis-12 CLA.
Significance and impact of the study: Trans-10, cis-12 CLA appears to cause milk fat depression in cattle fed diets supplemented with grain and polyunsaturated fatty acids, but predominant ruminal bacteria that produced trans-10, cis-12 CLA from LA had not previously been isolated.