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J Anim Sci. 1992 Jan;70(1):289-95.

Use of DNA probes to monitor nutritional effects on ruminal prokaryotes and Fibrobacter succinogenes S85.

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University of Missouri, Columbia 65211.


We used DNA probes to study dietary effects on the prokaryotic population in the rumen. Procedures used to isolate and quantify prokaryotic 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) from the rumen using universal and species-specific DNA probes were evaluated. In this experiment, three ruminally fistulated steers were fed orchard-grass hay, and ruminal digesta were collected at 0, 3, and 9 h after offering hay (0800). Samples of ruminal digesta were taken from the interior portion of the digesta mat and from the fluid below the mat in the dorsal rumen. Freezing (-65 degrees C) and blending samples both increased (P less than .07) the yield of 16S rRNA from ruminal digesta. Extraction of prokaryotic rRNA was greater (P less than .04) when phenol buffered with sodium acetate was used than when it was buffered with hydroxymethyl-amino-methane. Prokaryotic 16S rRNA concentration of the fluid phase was similar (P greater than .10) at 0, 3, and 9 h after offering hay. Prokaryotic 16S rRNA concentration of the mat phase increased up to the 9 h after feeding. The proportion of Fibrobacter succinogenes remained constant in both digesta phases at all times measured. From these data we concluded that DNA probes can be used to monitor bacterial population shifts in the rumen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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