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Anaerobe. 2010 Apr;16(2):94-100. doi: 10.1016/j.anaerobe.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

ARISA analysis of ruminal bacterial community dynamics in lactating dairy cows during the feeding cycle.

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Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53706, USA.


The bovine rumen undergoes substantial changes in environmental conditions during the animal's feeding cycle, but the effects of these changes on microbial populations have not been examined systematically. Two dairy cows fed a mixed forage/concentrate ration at 12 h intervals over 4 feeding cycles displayed substantial changes in ruminal pH and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentrations. Automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (ARISA) of solid- and liquid-associated bacterial populations in samples collected at 2, 4, 6, 9, and 12 h after feeding revealed a high degree of bacterial diversity. A total of 155 different amplicon lengths (ALs) were detected across all 83 samples, and 11-74 detected per sample. A substantial proportion (11%) of the ALs was detected in one cow but not in the other. The proportions of ALs that were detected only in the liquid phase or the solid phase were 13.5% and 1.9%, respectively. Correspondence analysis indicated that bacterial community composition differed between cows and between solid or liquid phases, but overall the solid-associated population displayed less change in composition within and across feeding cycles. The data support the notion that cows fed the same diets can have substantial differences in bacterial community composition, and that the solids-associated (biofilm) communities display greater stability than do associated planktonic communities.

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