The role of ciliate protozoa in the lysis of methanogenic archaea in rumen fluid

C. J. Newbold, K. Ushida, B. Morvan, G. Fonty, J. P. Jouany

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19 Citations (SciVal)


Predation by ciliate protozoa can account for 90% of the eubacterial protein turnover in the rumen. However, little is known about the factors affecting the lysis of archaea in rumen fluid. Bacterial lysis was followed from the release of acid-soluble 14C from 14C leucine-labelled bacteria. The rumen methanogen Methanobrevibacter MF1 was broken down more rapidly than other non-ruminal archaea in rumen fluid withdrawn from sheep harbouring either a mixed protozoal population or monofaunated with Polyplastron multivesiculatum or Entodinium spp. The removal of protozoa from the rumen fluid had little effect on the breakdown of Methanobrevibacter, while lysis of the non-methanogenic ruminal bacterium Selenomonas ruminantium decreased by over 70%. Substantial lysis of Methanobrevibacter occurred in cell-free rumen fluid and this effect could be abolished by autoclaving. In view of the high number of bacteriophages in rumen fluid and susceptibility of ruminal bacteria to phage-induced lysis it is tempting to suggest that phages have a role in the lysis of archaea in rumen fluid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-425
Number of pages5
JournalLetters in Applied Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1996




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