Analysis of methanogen diversity in the rumen using temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis: identification of uncultured methanogens.
ABSTRACT A temporal temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TTGE) method was developed to determine the diversity of methanogen populations in the rumen. Tests with amplicons from genomic DNA from 12 cultured methanogens showed single bands for all strains, with only two showing apparently comigrating bands. Fingerprints of methanogen populations were analyzed from DNA extracted from rumen contents from two cattle and four sheep grazing pasture. For one sheep, dilution cultures selective for methanogens were grown and the culturable methanogens in each successive dilution examined by TTGE. A total of 66 methanogen sequences were retrieved from bands in fingerprints and analyzed to reveal the presence of methanogens belonging to the Methanobacteriales, the Methanosarcinales, and to an uncultured archaeal lineage. Twenty-four sequences were most similar to Methanobrevibacter ruminantium, five to Methanobrevibacter smithii, four to Methanosphaera stadtmanae, and for three, the nearest match was Methanimicrococcus blatticola. The remaining 30 sequences did not cluster with sequences from cultured archaea, but when combined with published novel sequences from clone libraries formed a monophyletic lineage within the Euryarchaeota, which contained two previously unrecognized clusters. The TTGE bands from this lineage showed that the uncultured methanogens had significant population densities in each of the six rumen samples examined. In cultures of dilutions from one rumen sample, TTGE examination revealed these methanogens at a level of at least 10(5)g(-1). Band intensities from low-dilution cultures indicated that these methanogens were present at similar densities to Methanobrevibacter ruminantium-like methanogens, the sole culturable methanogens in high dilutions (10(6)-10(-10) g(-1)). It is suggested that the uncultured methanogens together with Methanobrevibacter spp. may be the predominant methanogens in the rumen. The TTGE method presented in this article provides a new opportunity for characterizing methanogen populations in the rumen microbial ecosystem.
Article: High prevalence of Methanobrevibacter smithii and Methanosphaera stadtmanae detected in the human gut using an improved DNA detection protocol.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The low and variable prevalence of Methanobrevibacter smithii and Methanosphaera stadtmanae DNA in human stool contrasts with the paramount role of these methanogenic Archaea in digestion processes. We hypothesized that this contrast is a consequence of the inefficiencies of current protocols for archaeon DNA extraction. We developed a new protocol for the extraction and PCR-based detection of M. smithii and M. stadtmanae DNA in human stool. Stool specimens collected from 700 individuals were filtered, mechanically lysed twice, and incubated overnight with proteinase K prior to DNA extraction using a commercial DNA extraction kit. Total DNA was used as a template for quantitative real-time PCR targeting M. smithii and M. stadtmanae 16S rRNA and rpoB genes. Amplification of 16S rRNA and rpoB yielded positive detection of M. smithii in 95.7% and M. stadtmanae in 29.4% of specimens. Sequencing of 16S rRNA gene PCR products from 30 randomly selected specimens (15 for M. smithii and 15 for M. stadtmanae) yielded a sequence similarity of 99-100% using the reference M. smithii ATCC 35061 and M. stadtmanae DSM 3091 sequences. In contrast to previous reports, these data indicate a high prevalence of the methanogens M. smithii and M. stadtmanae in the human gut, with the former being an almost ubiquitous inhabitant of the intestinal microbiome.PLoS ONE 01/2009; 4(9):e7063. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Lean breed Landrace pigs harbor fecal methanogens at higher diversity and density than obese breed Erhualian pigs.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The diversity of fecal methanogens of Erhualian (obese type) and Landrace (lean type) pigs was examined using separate 16S rRNA gene libraries for each breed. A total of 763 clones were analyzed; 381 from the Erhualian library and 382 from the Landrace library were identified belonging to the genus Methanobrevibacter. Others were identified belonging to the genus Methanosphaera. The two libraries showed significant differences in diversity (P < 0.05) and composition (P < 0.0001). Only two operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were found in both libraries, whereas six OTUs were found only in the Erhualian library and 23 OTUs were found only in the Landrace library. Real-time PCR showed that the abundance of fecal methanogens in Landrace pigs was significantly higher than that in Erhualian pigs (P < 0.05). Results showed that the Landrace pig (lean) harbored a greater diversity and higher numbers of methanogen mcrA gene copies than the Erhualian pig (obese). These differences may be related to the fatness or leanness in these two pig breeds. The results provide new leads for further investigations on the fat storage of pigs or even humans.Archaea 01/2012; 2012:605289.
Article: Microbial fuel cells and microbial ecology: applications in ruminant health and production research.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Microbial fuel cell (MFC) systems employ the catalytic activity of microbes to produce electricity from the oxidation of organic, and in some cases inorganic, substrates. MFC systems have been primarily explored for their use in bioremediation and bioenergy applications; however, these systems also offer a unique strategy for the cultivation of synergistic microbial communities. It has been hypothesized that the mechanism(s) of microbial electron transfer that enable electricity production in MFCs may be a cooperative strategy within mixed microbial consortia that is associated with, or is an alternative to, interspecies hydrogen (H(2)) transfer. Microbial fermentation processes and methanogenesis in ruminant animals are highly dependent on the consumption and production of H(2)in the rumen. Given the crucial role that H(2) plays in ruminant digestion, it is desirable to understand the microbial relationships that control H(2) partial pressures within the rumen; MFCs may serve as unique tools for studying this complex ecological system. Further, MFC systems offer a novel approach to studying biofilms that form under different redox conditions and may be applied to achieve a greater understanding of how microbial biofilms impact animal health. Here, we present a brief summary of the efforts made towards understanding rumen microbial ecology, microbial biofilms related to animal health, and how MFCs may be further applied in ruminant research.Microbial Ecology 12/2009; 59(3):415-27. · 2.91 Impact Factor