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Research Project: Characterizing Antimicrobial Resistance in Poultry Production Environments

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Title: Succession patterns of poultry litter microbiota after bird removal and PLT(R) application

item JOHNSON, JASMINE - University Of Georgia
item ZWIRZITZ, BENJAMIN - University Of Veterinary Medicine
item Oladeinde, Adelumola - Ade
item MILFORT, MARIE - University Of Georgia
item AGGREY, SAMUEL - University Of Georgia
item FULLER, ALBERTA - University Of Georgia
item Looft, Torey
item CHAI, LILONG - University Of Georgia
item ZOCK, GREGORY - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Sulfate based acid amendments are used for treating reused litter between broiler chicken flocks and during grow-out for in-house ammonia abatement. These amendments reduce litter pH and inhibit NH3 volatilization by converting NH3 into nonvolatile NH4+. Research on the effects of acid amendments on litter microbiota is limited and are usually done in microcosms, which do not replicate natural environments. In this study, we determined the changes in bacterial populations present in reused litter during downtime (period after a flock was removed and before new broiler chicks were placed) and 24-h before and after Poultry Litter Treatment® (PLT) application – a sodium bisulfate (NaHSO4) based amendment. We made use of nascent DNA sequencing technologies to characterize the litter microbiota, elucidating microbial shifts in litter samples with respect to downtime, litter depth, and PLT® application. During downtime (~18 days), the litter microbiota was dominated by Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria and bacterial species from the genus Corynebacterium. PLT® affected the microbiota in the top layer (10 cm) of reused litter topdressed with fresh pine shavings and resulted in an increase in Escherichia coli and Faecalibacterium spp., and a decrease in members of the phylum Acidobacteria. The higher E. coli abundance was correlated with an increase in culturable E. coli and litter moisture 24-h after PLT® application. While the effect of acidifiers on ammonia reduction, bird performance and litter performance are well documented, its effect on litter bacteria is not well understood. Our results suggest that acidifiers may lead to a dysbiotic litter microbiota when topdressed with fresh pine shavings and requires further research.