Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 101, Issue 18, pp 7017–7026 | Cite as

Effects of concentration of corn distillers dried grains with solubles and enzyme supplementation on cecal microbiota and performance in broiler chickens

  • Alaeldein M. AbudabosEmail author
  • Raed M. Al-Atiyat
  • Hamad A. Albatshan
  • Rafat Aljassim
  • Mashael R. Aljumaah
  • Manal M. Alkhulaifi
  • Dragana M. Stanley
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


With the increasing production of ethanol for biofuels, a by-product of corn-based ethanol fermentation, dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS) is finding its way into the feed of agricultural animals including cattle, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, aquaculture species and horses. Corn DDGS contains very high levels of non-starch polysaccharides and could be considered a good source of fibre. Despite knowledge of the role of the fibre in modulating intestinal microbiota and consequently influencing health, there is currently little information on the interactions between DDGS and intestinal microbiota. We assessed the changes in the cecal microbiota of broilers feed rations supplemented with DDGS (five concentrations: 0, 6, 12, 18 and 24% w/w) with and without presence of digestive enzymes. DDGS concentration was strongly positively correlated (P = 3.7e−17, r = 0.74) with feed conversion efficiency (FCR), diminishing broiler performance with higher concentrations. Additionally, DDGS concentrations positively correlated with Richness index (P = 1.5e−3, r = 0.5), increasing the number of detectable species in the cecum. Among the most affected genera, Faecalibacterium (P = 0.032, r = −0.34) and Streptococcus (P = 7.9e−3, r = −0.39) were negatively correlated with DDGS, while Turicibacter (P = 2.8e−4, r = 0.52) was positively correlated with the DDGS concentration. Enzymes showed minimal effect on cecal microbiota.


DDGS Enzymes Broiler Microbiota Fibre 



This project was funded by the National Plan for Science, Technology and Innovation (MAARIFAH), King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Award Number (12-AGR-2495-02). Dragana Stanley is an ARC DECRA fellow. All data analyses were performed on the Isaac Newton High Performance Computing System at Central Queensland University, Australia, and we acknowledge the support received from Jason Bell in all aspects of High Performance Computing. We also thank Professors Robert Moore and Kerry Walsh for their constructive comments on the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards


This project was internally funded by King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This project was approved by the Departmental Board of Studies on Ethics, Methodology and Welfare, King Saud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.

Supplementary material

253_2017_8448_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (304 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 304 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alaeldein M. Abudabos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raed M. Al-Atiyat
    • 1
  • Hamad A. Albatshan
    • 1
  • Rafat Aljassim
    • 2
  • Mashael R. Aljumaah
    • 3
  • Manal M. Alkhulaifi
    • 3
  • Dragana M. Stanley
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Animal Production, College of Food and Agriculture SciencesKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  2. 2.Centre for Animal Science, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI)The University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia
  4. 4.Institute for Future Farming SystemsCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia

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