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Anaerobe. 2010 Apr;16(2):66-73. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2009.05.003. Epub 2009 May 22.

Diversity of anaerobic gut fungal populations analysed using ribosomal ITS1 sequences in faeces of wild and domesticated herbivores.

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Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Plas Gogerddan, Aberystywth, Ceredigion SY23 3EB, UK.


Gut fungal-specific PCR primers have been used to selectively amplify the ITS1 region of gut fungal rDNA recovered from faeces of domestic and wild animals to investigate population diversity. Two different gel-based methods are described for separating populations of gut fungal rDNA amplicons, namely (1) denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and (2) separation according to small size differences using Spreadex, a proprietary matrix for electrophoresis. Gut fungal populations were characterised by analysis of rDNA in faeces of seventeen domesticated and ten wild herbivores. Sequences derived from these gel-based characterisations were analysed and classified using a hidden Markov model-based fingerprint matching algorithm. Faecal samples contained a broad spectrum of fungi and sequences from five of the six recognised genera were identified, including Cyllamyces, the most recently described gut fungal genus, which was found to be widely distributed in the samples. Furthermore, four other novel groupings of gut fungal sequences were identified that did not cluster with sequences from any of the previously described genera. Both gel- and sequence- based profiles for gut fungal populations suggested a lack of geographical restriction on occurrence of any individual fungal type.

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