The feeding regime of early, supplementary solid diet improved rumen development and production in goat kids. However, the signature microbiota responsible for linking dietary regimes to rumen function shifts are still unclear. This work analyzed the rumen microbiome and functions affected by an early solid diet regime using a combination of machine learning algorithms. Volatile fatty acids (i.e., acetate, propionate and butyrate) fermented by microbes were found to increase significantly in the supplementary solid diet groups. Predominant genera were found to alter significantly from unclassified Sphingobacteriaceae
(non-supplementary group) to Prevotella
(supplementary solid diet groups). Random Forest classification model revealed signature microbiota for solid diet that positively correlated with macronutrient intake, and linearly increased with volatile fatty acid production. Bacteria associated with carbohydrate and protein metabolism were also identified. Utilization of a Fish Taco analysis portrayed a set of intersecting core species contributed to rumen function shifts by the solid diet regime. The core community structures consisted of the specific, signature microbiota and the manipulation of their symbiotic partners are manipulated by extra nutrients from concentrate and/or forage, and then produce more volatile fatty acids to promote rumen development and functions eventually host development. Our study provides mechanisms of the microbiome governed by a solid diet regime early in life, and highlights the signature microbiota involved in animal health and production.
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