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De Barbieri I.,University of New England of Australia | De Barbieri I.,National Institute for Agricultural Research | Gulino L.,Rumen Ecology Unit | Gulino L.,Center for Animal Science | And 8 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2015

Divergent genetic selection for wool growth as a single trait has led to major changes in sheep physiology and metabolism, including variations in rumen microbial protein production and uptake of α-amino nitrogen in portal blood. This study was conducted to determine if sheep with different genetic merit for wool growth exhibit distinct rumen bacterial diversity. Eighteen Merino wethers were separated into groups of contrasting genetic merit for clean fleece weight (CFW; low: WG- and high: WG+) and fed a blend of oaten and lucerne chaff diet at two levels of intake (LOI; 1 or 1.5 times maintenance energy requirements) for two seven-week periods in a crossover design. Bacterial diversity in rumen fluid collected by esophageal intubation was characterized using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing of the V3/V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Bacterial diversity estimated by Phylogenetic distance, Chao1 and observed species did not differ significantly with CFW or LOI; however, the Shannon diversity index differed (P=0.04) between WG+ (7.67) and WG- sheep (8.02). WG+ animals had a higher (P=0.03) proportion of Bacteroidetes (71.9% vs 66.5%) and a lower (P=0.04) proportion of Firmicutes (26.6% vs 31.6%) than WG- animals. Twenty-four specific operational taxonomic units (OTUs), belonging to the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla, were shared among all the samples, whereas specific OTUs varied significantly in presence/abundance (P<0.05) between wool genotypes and 50 varied (P<0.05) with LOI. It appears that genetic selection for fleece weight is associated with differences in rumen bacterial diversity that persist across different feeding levels. Moderate correlations between seven continuous traits, such as methane production or microbial protein production, and the presence and abundance of 17 OTUs were found, indicating scope for targeted modification of the microbiome to improve the energetic efficiency of rumen microbial synthesis and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of ruminants. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. Source


De Barbieri I.,University of New England of Australia | De Barbieri I.,National Institute for Agricultural Research | Hegarty R.S.,University of New England of Australia | Silveira C.,University of New England of Australia | And 9 more authors.
Small Ruminant Research | Year: 2015

Establishment of the rumen microbiome can be affected by both early-life dietary measures and rumen microbial inoculation. This study used a 2×3 factorial design to evaluate the effects of inclusion of dietary fat type and the effects of rumen inoculum from different sources on ruminal bacterial communities present in early stages of the lambs' life. Two different diets were fed ad libitum to 36 pregnant ewes (and their lambs) from 1 month pre-lambing until weaning. Diets consisted of chaffed lucerne and cereal hay and 4% molasses, with either 4% distilled coconut oil (CO) provided as a source of rumen-active fat or 4% Megalac® provided as a source of rumen-protected fat (PF). One of three inoculums was introduced orally to all lambs, being either (1) rumen fluid from donor ewes fed the PF diet; (2) rumen fluid from donor ewes fed CO; or (3) a control treatment of MilliQ-water. After weaning at 3 months of age, each of the six lamb treatment groups were grazed in spatially separated paddocks. Rumen bacterial populations of ewes and lambs were characterised using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing of the V3/V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Species richness and biodiversity of the bacterial communities were found to be affected by the diet in ewes and lambs and by inoculation treatment of the lambs. Principal coordinate analysis and analysis of similarity (ANOSIM) showed between diet differences in bacterial community groups existed in ewes and differential bacterial clusters occurred in lambs due to both diet and neonatal inoculation. Diet and rumen inoculation acted together to clearly differentiate the bacterial communities through to weaning, however the microbiome effects of these initial early life interventions diminished with time so that rumen bacterial communities showed greater similarity 2 months after weaning. These results demonstrate that ruminal bacterial communities of newborn lambs can be altered by modifying the diet of their mothers. Moreover, the rumen microbiome of lambs can be changed by diet while they are suckling or by inoculating their rumen, and resulting changes in the rumen bacterial microbiome can persist beyond weaning. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.. Source


De Barbieri I.,University of New England of Australia | De Barbieri I.,National Institute for Agricultural Research | Gulino L.,Rumen Ecology Unit | Gulino L.,Center for Animal Science | And 8 more authors.
Livestock Science | Year: 2015

Divergent genetic selection for wool growth as a single trait has led to major changes in sheep physiology and metabolism, including variations in rumen microbial protein production and uptake of α-amino nitrogen in portal blood. This study was conducted to determine if sheep with different genetic merit for wool growth exhibit distinct rumen bacterial diversity. Eighteen Merino wethers were separated into groups of contrasting genetic merit for clean fleece weight (CFW; low: WG- and high: WG+) and fed a blend of oaten and lucerne chaff diet at two levels of intake (LOI; 1 or 1.5 times maintenance energy requirements) for two seven-week periods in a crossover design. Bacterial diversity in rumen fluid collected by esophageal intubation was characterized using 454 amplicon pyrosequencing of the V3/V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Bacterial diversity estimated by Phylogenetic distance, Chao1 and observed species did not differ significantly with CFW or LOI; however, the Shannon diversity index differed (P=0.04) between WG+ (7.67) and WG- sheep (8.02). WG+ animals had a higher (P=0.03) proportion of Bacteroidetes (71.9% vs 66.5%) and a lower (P=0.04) proportion of Firmicutes (26.6% vs 31.6%) than WG- animals. Twenty-four specific operational taxonomic units (OTUs), belonging to the Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes phyla, were shared among all the samples, whereas specific OTUs varied significantly in presence/abundance (P<0.05) between wool genotypes and 50 varied (P<0.05) with LOI. It appears that genetic selection for fleece weight is associated with differences in rumen bacterial diversity that persist across different feeding levels. Moderate correlations between seven continuous traits, such as methane production or microbial protein production, and the presence and abundance of 17 OTUs were found, indicating scope for targeted modification of the microbiome to improve the energetic efficiency of rumen microbial synthesis and reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of ruminants. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.. Source


Gulino L.-M.,Rumen Ecology Unit | Gulino L.-M.,Center for Animal Science | Ouwerkerk D.,Rumen Ecology Unit | Ouwerkerk D.,Center for Animal Science | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Twenty macropods from five locations in Queensland, Australia, grazing on a variety of native pastures were surveyed and the bacterial community of the foregut was examined using 454-amplicon pyrosequencing. Specifically, the V3/V4 region of 16S rRNA gene was examined. A total of 5040 OTUs were identified in the data set (post filtering). Thirty-two OTUs were identified as 'shared' OTUS (i.e. present in all samples) belonging to either Firmicutes or Bacteroidetes (Clostridiales/Bacteroidales). These phyla predominated the general microbial community in all macropods. Genera represented within the shared OTUs included: unclassified Ruminococcaceae, unclassified Lachnospiraceae, unclassified Clostridiales, Peptococcus sp. Coprococcus spp., Streptococcus spp., Blautia sp., Ruminoccocus sp., Eubacterium sp., Dorea sp., Oscillospira sp. and Butyrivibrio sp. The composition of the bacterial community of the foregut samples of each the host species (Macropus rufus, Macropus giganteus and Macropus robustus) was significantly different allowing differentiation between the host species based on alpha and beta diversity measures. Specifically, eleven dominant OTUs that separated the three host species were identified and classified as: unclassified Ruminococcaceae, unclassified Bacteroidales, Prevotella spp. and a Syntrophococcus sucromutans. Putative reductive acetogens and fibrolytic bacteria were also identified in samples. Future work will investigate the presence and role of fibrolytics and acetogens in these ecosystems. Ideally, the isolation and characterization of these organisms will be used for enhanced feed efficiency in cattle, methane mitigation and potentially for other industries such as the biofuel industry. © 2013 Gulino et al. Source

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