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Can J Microbiol. 1987 Mar;33(3):244-8.

Interactions between Treponema bryantii and cellulolytic bacteria in the in vitro degradation of straw cellulose.


To assess the contribution of individual bacterial species to the overall process of cellulose digestion in the rumen, cellulolytic bacteria (Bacteroides succinogenes and Ruminococcus albus) were tested as pure cultures and as cocultures with noncellulolytic Treponema bryantii. In studies of in vitro barley straw digestion, Treponema cocultures surpassed pure cultures of the cellulolytic organisms in dry matter disappearance, volatile fatty acid generation, and in the production of succinic acid, lactic acid, and ethanol. Morphological examination, by electron microscopy, showed that cells of T. bryantii associate with the plant cell wall materials in straw, but that cellulose digestion occurs only when these organisms are present with cellulolytic species such as B. succinogenes. These results show that cellulolytic bacteria interact with noncellulolytic Treponema to promote the digestion of cellulosic materials.

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