New On Characterising The Bacterial Microbiota Across The Gastrointestinal Tracts Of Dairy Cattle: Membership And Potential Function

Published online yesterday, November 3, 2015, by Scientific Reports, this article by Shengyong Mao, Mengling Zhang, Junhua Liu and Weiyun Zhu (Nanjing Agricultural University, China) is now available to view.

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The bacterial community composition and function in the gastrointestinal tracts (GITs) of dairy cattle is very important, since it can influence milk production and host health. However, our understanding of bacterial communities in the GITs of dairy cattle is still very limited. This study analysed bacterial communities in ten distinct GIT sites (the digesta and mucosa of the rumen, reticulum, omasum, abomasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and rectum) in six dairy cattle. The study observed 542 genera belonging to 23 phyla distributed throughout the cattle GITs, with the Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria predominating. In addition, data revealed significant spatial heterogeneity in composition, diversity and species abundance distributions of GIT microbiota. Furthermore, the study inferred significant differences in the predicted metagenomic profiles among GIT regions. In particular, the relative abundances of the genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism were overrepresented in the digesta samples of forestomaches, and the genes related to amino acid metabolism were mainly enriched in the mucosal samples. In general, this study provides the first deep insights into the composition of GIT microbiota in dairy cattle, and it may serve as a foundation for future studies in this area.

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Jen Thoroughgood

Former Head of Communities, Springer Nature

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