Successional colonization of perennial ryegrass by rumen bacteria

Sharon Ann Huws, O. L. Mayorga, Michael Kyriacos Theodorou, L. A. Onime, Eun Joong Kim, A. H. Cookson, C. J. Newbold, Alison Helen Kingston-Smith

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This study investigated successional colonization of perennial ryegrass (PRG) by the rumen microbiota. PRG grown for 6 weeks in a greenhouse was incubated in sacco in the rumens of three Holstein × Freisian cows over a period of 24 h. PRG incubated within the rumen was subsequently harvested at various time intervals postincubation to assess colonization over time. DGGE-based dendograms revealed the presence of distinct primary (0-2 h) and secondary (4 h onwards) attached bacterial communities. Moving window analysis, band number and Shannon-Wiener diversity indices suggest that after 2 h a proportion of primary colonizing bacteria detach, to be replaced with a population of secondary colonizing bacteria between 2 and 4 h after entry of PRG into the rumen. Sequencing and classification of bands lost and gained between 2 and 4 h showed that the genus Prevotella spp. was potentially more prevalent following 4 h of incubation, and Prevotella spp. 16S rDNA-based QPCR supported this finding somewhat, as 2- to 4-h Prevotella QPCR data were greater but not significantly so. Low-temperature scanning electron microscopy showed that attached bacteria were predominantly enveloped in extracellular polymeric substances. In conclusion, colonization of fresh PRG is biphasic with primary colonization completed within 2 h and secondary colonization commencing after 4 h of attachment in this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-196
Number of pages11
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • bacteria
  • colonization
  • DGGE
  • plant
  • QPCR
  • rumen
  • temporal


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