The research, which will be carried out at the McGregor facility in Texas, will involve a combination of strain selection, identification and characterization as well as in vitro and in vivo testing.
Laurent Dussert, ruminant product manager at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, told FeedNavigator that Texas A&M brings highly specific competencies in beef production from zootechnical performance to health to the partnership.
And Texas, he said, is a strategic location from which to advance beef production. The area has a high concentration of experts in beef production, management as well as research, said Dussert.
The collaborative research project with Texas A&M, he said, is aimed at establishing a synergistic relationship that capitalizes on the strengths of both parties.
“The beef industry is looking for technologies that can benefit animal health and production in a way that preserves the public trust in the wholesomeness of beef. In particular, there is increasing interest in the reduction of the use of antibiotics or growth promoters in animal production.
The projects conducted in partnership with Texas A&M will address such topics.
Screening will allow us to optimize novel microbial solutions and also to better understand and explore the benefits of existing ones. Our initial projects concern cattle feeding behavior and improving digestion through the use of probiotics,” he added.
Yeast strain screening
Dr Frédérique Chaucheyras-Durand, head of the rumen microbiology research team of Lallemand Animal Nutrition, told us previously that her team has found a lack of consistency in terms of the impact of different yeast strains on the rumen of cattle, with huge diversity in the types of interactions that occur between yeasts and rumen microbial populations.
“So the screening of efficient yeast strains is critical, and it is a very long and complicated process,” added Chaucheyras.
In terms of the challenges involved in using yeast additives in ruminant feed, she said it is crucial to keep the yeast cells alive and active from the yeast plant up to the targeted digestive compartment - the rumen.
Her team is exploring how effective gut microbial management can optimize digestive performance and enhance cattle welfare.
“Dairy and beef cattle producers face many challenges, in that they need to boost output to meet increased global demand for meat and milk products.
But, in doing so, they need to consider multiple factors from hikes in feed prices to a reduction of arable land to water supply limitations to climate change to consumer demands on animal welfare and food safety.
One way to go is to improve animal digestion efficiency: transforming more energy from feed into meat or milk is critical, and this can only work with an efficient rumen,” she said.
Lallemand also carries out ruminant and silage research at the National Institute for Agronomic Research (INRA) in Clermont-Ferrand and Theix in France, at the William H Miner Agriculture Research Institute in the US and at the Biotechnology Research Institute of the National Research Council in Canada.