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Inclusion of novel bacteria in rumen microbiology: Need for basic and applied science

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Rumen microbiology has made a significant contribution to the understanding of ruminant nutrition. However, further progress in research has been hindered by the incomplete analysis of the rumen microbiota comprised of bacteria, protozoa and fungi, most of which remain uncharacterized due to the difficulties in their isolation and cultivation. In order to maximize rumen fiber digestion, it is necessary to understand the community structure of rumen microbes, especially bacteria, and the factors that influence their composition. Recent advances in molecular biology techniques allow the analysis of such bacteria without cultivation, thereby identifying many functional, but uncultured, bacteria as new targets for basic and applied research. Specific uncultured bacterial groups are being considered as important members of a fibrolytic consortium in the rumen, judging by their ecologic distribution. The inclusion of such uncharacterized bacteria in analyses is crucial for understanding the rumen microbial community and its manipulation. In addition, these bacteria could potentially be candidates as probiotics and sources of enzymes for animal feed and other industrial uses.
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Keywords: enzyme; function; microbial ecology; rumen; uncultured bacteria

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2006

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