Influence of lactobacillus spp. from An inoculant and of weissella and leuconostoc spp. from forage crops on silage fermentation

Appl Environ Microbiol. 1998 Aug;64(8):2982-7. doi: 10.1128/AEM.64.8.2982-2987.1998.


Lactobacillus spp. from an inoculant and Weissella and Leuconostoc spp. from forage crops were characterized, and their influence on silage fermentation was studied. Forty-two lactic acid-producing cocci were obtained from forage crops and grasses. All isolates were gram-positive, catalase-negative cocci that produced gas from glucose, and produced more than 90% of their lactate in the D-isomer form. These isolates were divided into groups A and B by sugar fermentation patterns. Two representative strains from the two groups, FG 5 and FG 13, were assigned to the species Weissella paramesenteroides and Leuconostoc pseudomesenteroides, respectively, on the basis of DNA-DNA relatedness. Strains FG 5, FG 13, and SL 1 (Lactobacillus casei), isolated from a commercial inoculant, were used as additives to alfalfa and Italian ryegrass silage preparations. Lactic acid bacterium counts were higher in all additive-treated silages than in the control silage at an early stage of ensiling. During silage fermentation, inoculation with SL 1 more effectively inhibited the growth of aerobic bacteria and clostridia than inoculation with strain FG 5 or FG 13. SL 1-treated silages stored well. However, the control and FG 5- and FG 13-treated silages had a significantly (P < 0.05) higher pH and butyric acid and ammonia nitrogen contents and significantly (P < 0. 05) lower lactate content than SL 1-treated silage. Compared with the control silage, SL 1 treatments reduced the proportion of D-(-)-lactic acid, gas production, and dry matter loss in two kinds of silage, but the FG 5 and FG 13 treatments gave similar values in alfalfa silages and higher values (P < 0.05) in Italian ryegrass silage. The results confirmed that heterofermentative strains of W. paramesenteroides FG 5 and L. pseudomesenteroides FG 13 did not improve silage quality and may cause some fermentation loss.