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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Feb;88(2):286-92.

Identification and enumeration of oleic acid and linoleic acid hydrating bacteria in the rumen of sheep and cows.

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1
Grasslands Research Centre, AgResearch, Palmerston North, New Zealand.

Abstract

The diversity and population densities of facultative anaerobic bacteria with the capacity to hydrate oleic acid and linoleic acid in the rumen of sheep and dairy cows were determined. The screening of representative colonies, from rumen fluid plated aerobically on a range of agar media, revealed that sheep rumen fluid contained hydration-positive strains of Streptococcus, Staphylococcus, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus and Pediococcus, whereas cow rumen fluid contained hydration-positive strains of Streptococcus, Lactobacillus and Staphylococcus. Mean counts of facultative anaerobic bacteria in sheep and cattle rumen were log10 7.29 and log10 6.40, respectively, and were independent of diet. Approximately 56% of facultative anaerobic bacteria were able to hydrate oleic and/or linoleic acid in anaerobic broth culture. For both sheep and cows, the most numerous hydration-positive isolates were strains of Strep. bovis. The results, which are the first to show that pediococci have the capacity to hydrate unsaturated fatty acids, suggest that lactic acid bacteria are the major unsaturated fatty acid hydrating bacteria in the rumen.

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