Seasonal changes in the digesta-adherent rumen bacterial communities of dairy cattle grazing pasture

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  • Samantha Joan Noel
  • G T Attwood, AgResearch, Grasslands Research Centre, Palmerston North, NZ, New ZealandJ Rakonjac, Institute of Fundamental Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New ZealandC D Moon, G C Waghorn, New ZealandPeter H Janssen, New Zealand
The complex microbiota that resides within the rumen is responsible for the break-down of plant fibre. The bacteria that attach to ingested plant matter within the rumen are thought to be responsible for initial fibre degradation. Most studies examining the ecology of this important microbiome only offer a ‘snapshot’ in time. We monitored the diversity of rumen bacteria in four New Zealand dairy cows, grazing a rye-grass and clover pasture over five consecutive seasons, using high throughput pyrosequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA genes. We chose to focus on the digesta-adherent bacterial community to learn more about the stability of this community over time. 16S rRNA gene sequencing showed a high level of bacterial diversity, totalling 1539 operational taxonomic units (OTUs, grouped at 96% sequence similarity) across all samples, and ranging from 653 to 926 OTUs per individual sample. The nutritive composition of the pasture changed with the seasons as did the production phase of the animals. Sequence analysis showed that, overall, the bacterial communities were broadly similar between the individual animals. The adherent bacterial community was strongly dominated by members of Firmicutes (82.1%), followed by Bacteroidetes (11.8%). This community differed between the seasons, returning to close to that observed in the same season one year later. These seasonal differences were only small, but were statistically significant (p < 0.001), and were probably due to the seasonal differences in the diet. These results demonstrate a general invariability of the ruminal bacterial community structure in these grazing dairy cattle.
TidsskriftP L o S One
Sider (fra-til)1-18
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - 15 mar. 2017

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