Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 9, pp 4025–4037 | Cite as

Microbiome dynamics during ensiling of corn with and without Lactobacillus plantarum inoculant

  • Jitendra Keshri
  • Yaira Chen
  • Riky Pinto
  • Yulia Kroupitski
  • Zwi G. Weinberg
  • Shlomo Sela (Saldinger)
Biotechnological products and process engineering


Microbial population dynamics associated with corn silage, with and without Lactobacillus plantarum treatment, was studied. Whole crop corn was ensiled using laboratory silos and sampled at different times, up to 3 months. The dominant bacteria, before ensiling, were Acinetobacter (38.5%) and Klebsiella (16.3%), while the dominant fungi were Meyerozyma (53.5%) and Candida (27.7%). During ensiling, the microbial population shifted considerably, and Lactobacillus (> 94%) and Candida (> 74%) became the most dominant microbial genera in both treated and untreated silages. Yet, lactic acid content was higher in the treated silage, while the microbial diversity was lower than in the untreated silage. Upon aerobic exposure, spoilage occurred more rapidly in the treated silage, possibly due to the higher abundance of lactic acid-assimilating fungi, such as Candida. Our study is the first to describe microbial population dynamics during whole-crop corn ensiling and the results indicate that microbial diversity may be an indicator of aerobic stability.


Bacterial diversity Fungal diversity Silage Feed Aerobic stability 



Contribution from the Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), The Volcani Center, No. 798/17. This study was partially supported by BARD (United States-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund), Project IS-4704-14. SSS was a member of the EU COST Action FA1202 (CGAFA1202): A European Network for Mitigating Bacterial Colonisation and Persistence on Foods and Food Processing Environments ( and acknowledge this action. JK was supported by ARO Postdoctoral Fellowship Fund (2015-2017) under the Indo-Israeli Research and Development Programme.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_8903_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (416 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 416 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jitendra Keshri
    • 1
  • Yaira Chen
    • 1
  • Riky Pinto
    • 1
  • Yulia Kroupitski
    • 1
  • Zwi G. Weinberg
    • 1
  • Shlomo Sela (Saldinger)
    • 1
  1. 1.Microbial Food-Safety Research Unit, Department of Food Quality and Safety, The Volcani Center, Agriculture Research OrganizationInstitute for Postharvest and Food SciencesRishon-LeZionIsrael

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