Composition and similarity of bovine rumen microbiota across individual animals

Elie Jami, Itzhak Mizrahi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

380 Scopus citations

Abstract

The bovine rumen houses a complex microbiota which is responsible for cattle's remarkable ability to convert indigestible plant mass into food products. Despite this ecosystem's enormous significance for humans, the composition and similarity of bacterial communities across different animals and the possible presence of some bacterial taxa in all animals' rumens have yet to be determined. We characterized the rumen bacterial populations of 16 individual lactating cows using tag amplicon pyrosequencing. Our data showed 51% similarity in bacterial taxa across samples when abundance and occurrence were analyzed using the Bray-Curtis metric. By adding taxon phylogeny to the analysis using a weighted UniFrac metric, the similarity increased to 82%. We also counted 32 genera that are shared by all samples, exhibiting high variability in abundance across samples. Taken together, our results suggest a core microbiome in the bovine rumen. Furthermore, although the bacterial taxa may vary considerably between cow rumens, they appear to be phylogenetically related. This suggests that the functional requirement imposed by the rumen ecological niche selects taxa that potentially share similar genetic features.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere33306
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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