Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties of spent coffee grounds (SCG) make them a potential ingredient in a diet for ruminants. This study investigated the effects of SCG on rumen microbiota. For 51 days, 36 dairy ewes were assigned to the experimental treatments (0, 30, 50, and 100 g SCG/kg). Ruminal samples were collected on day 50. DNA was extracted and subjected to paired-end Illumina sequencing of the V3-V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA genes. Bioinformatic analyses were performed using QIIME (v.1.9.0). SCG increased dose-dependently bacterial diversity and altered bacterial structure. Further, 60, 78, and 449 operational taxonomic unit (OUT) were different between control and 30, 50 and 100 g/kg SCG groups, respectively. Higher differences were observed between the control and 100 g/kg SCG group, where OTU of the genera Treponema, CF231, Butyrivibrio, BF331, Anaeroplasma, Blautia, Fibrobacter, and Clostridium were enriched with SCG. Correlations between volatile fatty acids (VFA) and bacterial taxa were sparser in the SCG groups and had little overlap. Certain bacterial taxa presented different signs of the correlation with VFA in SCG and control groups, but Butyrivibrio and Blautia consistently correlated with branched-chain VFA in all groups. SCG induced shifts in the ruminal bacterial community and altered the correlation networks among bacterial taxa and ruminal VFA.
Keywords: circular economy; coffee by-products; ruminal microbes.