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Mob Genet Elements. 2012 May 1;2(3):152-153.

The rumen plasmidome: A genetic communication hub for the rumen microbiome.

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Department of Ruminant Science; Institute of Animal Sciences; Agricultural Research Organization; Volcani Center; Bet Dagan, Israel.


Plasmids are episomally replicating genetic elements which carry backbone genes that are important for their replication and maintenance within their host, and accessory genes that might confer an advantage to their host in its ecological niche. As such, they are often perceived as a powerful evolutionary force, which horizontally introduces new traits into bacterial cells and genomes. In our recent publication "Insight into the rumen plasmidome" we characterized the metagenomic plasmid population of the bovine rumen microbial ecological niche. The rumen is the first compartment of the digestive tract of ruminants; it functions as a pre-gastric anaerobic fermentation chamber, where plant fibers are degraded and converted into chemical compounds which are subsequently absorbed and digested by the animal.

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