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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1979 Jun; 37(6): 1142–1151.
PMCID: PMC243369

Comparison of bacterial populations of the pig cecum and colon based upon enumeration with specific energy sources.


Concentrations of bacteria in the ceca and colons of pigs were measured by determinations of colony counts on rumen fluid-based media in anaerobic roll tubes. With our most complete medium (medium CCA), the mean colony count of cecal samples from 20 pigs was 2.37 X 10(10) +/- 1.0 X 10(10) (+/- standard deviation)/g (wet weight). The mean number of bacteria attached to or associated with cecal epithelial tissues from three pigs on medium CCA was 2.67 X 10(7) +/- 0.81 X 10(7)/cm2 of tissue. The proportions of gut bacterial populations able to use various energy substrates were estimated on the basis of relative colony counts. The following substrates are listed in descending order of their capacity to support growth of cecal bacteria: glucose, starch, cellobiose, xylose, Trypticase, gastric mucin from swine, mannitol, glycerol, and lactate. The effect of diet upon this distribution was not examined. The relative proportions of bacteria from a given population that were able to grow on various selective media were used as population profiles. Comparisons of populations in this way indicated that differences could be detected between (i) populations from the cecum of littermate pigs, (ii) populations from the cecum and colon of the same pig, and (iii) populations in the lumen of the cecum as compared with populations associated with cecal mucosa.

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Selected References

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