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Rumen Microbes Play An Important Roles In Ruminants

- May 07, 2018 -

Rumen Microbes play an important roles in ruminants

Recently,a new research about the analysis of microorganisms in the stomach of dairy cows may help promote the production of meat and milk, thereby increasing food security in the future.

Experts said scientists from the Scottish Rural Institute (SRUC) and the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh conducted a study that could lead researchers to understand which type of microbe (such as bacteria) is the best suited to help livestock extract energy from their food.

Using metagenomics

The original study also discovered enzymes that are specifically used to decompose plant materials, which may help in the search for new biofuels. The researchers focused on the microorganisms found in the rumen of dairy cows, which was the first of four stomachs. The rumen contains a variety of microbial species such as bacteria, archaea, and fungi. All of them can help animals extract energy and nutrients from food. The team make full use of  an advanced technique called metagenomics that involves analyzing the genetic makeup of all the microorganisms that exist in the organism, in this case of cattle.In total, they studied the tumor gastrointestinal tract contents of 43 cows and identified 913 rumen microbial strains. Most of the microorganisms discovered have never been seen before and may have potential uses in the biofuels and biotechnology industries. By analyzing their genetic information, the team identified previously unknown enzymes that could extract energy and nutrients from plant material.Beef and dairy cattle, and other milk-producing ruminants,  provide food and nutrition for billions of people around the world. Experts say that understanding how these animals convert botanical diets into energy is crucial to ensuring the future of the world's food supply.


 Microorganisms in the stomach of cows help break down carbohydrates in feed. Now scientists do not know which microorganisms will decompose which carbohydrates. Identifying these relationships may ultimately help make cattle feed more effective.Photo: Mark Pasveer

Understanding rumen microbial ecosystem

The study was published in the journal Nature Communications and was conducted in collaboration with experts from the University of Aberdeen Rowwell Institute. Prof. Rainer Roehe of SRUC said: “The newly discovered microbial species in the rumen of beef cattle will greatly improve our understanding of how rumen microbial ecosystems work. “Using breeding and nutritional interventions, we will be able to use this information to help improve the world The health status and performance of cattle. Professor Mick Watson of the Roslyn Institute at the University of Edinburgh said: "This is a very attractive research. We really just started to understand the role of these microbes. In fact, most of the discovered microorganisms are very different from the ones we have already discovered, so we can't wait to study them further. "If we can improve the digestive efficiency of dairy cows and other ruminants, we can produce more food for people while reducing resources. This is a key goal for improving global food security."

Make cattle more effective

In the United States, this topic is also on the research agenda. Two researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences have received nearly $700,000 to study swine flu and further study how microbes can play a role in the nutrition of cattle and  impact producers’ bottom lines.

Microorganisms in the stomach of cows help break down carbohydrates in feed. Now scientists do not know which microorganisms will decompose which carbohydrates. Tim Hackman, assistant professor of animal science, said that identifying these relationships may ultimately help increase the feed efficiency of cattle. Mr. Hackman will start processing certain carbohydrates with fluorescent compounds and feed it to the microbes that sampled from cattle. He explained that carbohydrates that metabolize carbohydrates glow under the microscope and tell researchers what carbohydrates are processed carbohydrates.“Mr. Hachman's companion project aims to increase the amount of protein that can be used for cattle. According to his calculations, the dairy industry can save about 122 million US dollars annually. He said that by digesting some of the microorganisms that live in the intestine, cattle get more than half of the protein. "What we want to do is increase the efficiency of protein production in microbes. At present, they have only one-third of their energy for growth. If microbes can produce more energy to make proteins, cattle will only get more from food sources. Less protein. "


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