4 years ago

Compositional and functional dynamics of the bovine rumen methanogenic community across different developmental stages

Itzhak Mizrahi, Nir Friedman, Elie Jami
Methanogenic archaea in the bovine rumen are responsible for the reduction of carbon molecules to methane, using various electron donors and driving the electron flow across the microbial food webs. Thus, methanogens play a key role in sustaining rumen metabolism and function. Research of rumen methanogenic archaea typically focuses on their composition and function in mature animals, while studies of early colonization and functional establishment remain scarce. Here, we investigated the metabolic potential and taxonomic composition of the methanogenic communities across different rumen developmental stages. We discovered that the methanogenesis process changes with age and that the early methanogenic community is characterized by a high activity of methylotrophic methanogenesis, likely performed by members of the order Methanosarcinales, exclusively found in young rumen. In contrast, higher hydrogenotrophic activity was observed in the mature rumen, where a higher proportion of exclusively hydrogenotrophic taxa are found. These findings suggest that environmental filtering acts on the archaeal communities and select for different methanogenic lineages during different growth stages, affecting the functionality of this ecosystem. This study provides a better understanding of the compositional and metabolic changes that occur in the rumen microbiome from its initial stages of colonization and throughout the animals' life.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/1462-2920.13846

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