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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Sep;78(17):5983-93. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00104-12. Epub 2012 Jun 15.

Comparative survey of rumen microbial communities and metabolites across one caprine and three bovine groups, using bar-coded pyrosequencing and ¹H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

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School of Biological Sciences, Research Center for Biomolecules and Biosystems, Chung-Ang University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes (targeting Bacteria and Archaea) and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance were applied to investigate the rumen microbiota and metabolites of Hanwoo steers in the growth stage (HGS), Hanwoo steers in the late fattening stage (HFS), Holstein-Friesian dairy cattle (HDC), and Korean native goats (KNG) in the late fattening stage. This was a two-part investigation. We began by comparing metabolites and microbiota of Hanwoo steers at two stages of husbandry. Statistical comparisons of metabolites and microbial communities showed no significant differences between HFS and HGS (differing by a dietary shift at 24 months and age [67 months versus 12 months]). We then augmented the study by extending the investigation to HDC and KNG. Overall, pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes showed that the rumens had highly diverse microbial communities containing many previously undescribed microorganisms. Bioinformatic analysis revealed that the bacterial sequences were predominantly affiliated with four phyla-Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Fibrobacteres, and Proteobacteria-in all ruminants. However, interestingly, the bacterial reads belonging to Fibrobacteres were present at a very low abundance (<0.1%) in KNG. Archaeal community analysis showed that almost all of these reads fell into a clade related to, but distinct from, known cultivated methanogens. Statistical analyses showed that the microbial communities and metabolites of KNG were clearly distinct from those of other ruminants. In addition, bacterial communities and metabolite profiles of HGS and HDC, fed similar diets, were distinctive. Our data indicate that bovine host breeds override diet as the key factor that determines bacterial community and metabolite profiles in the rumen.

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