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Hydrogen utilising bacteria from the forestomach of eastern grey (Macropus giganteus) and red (Macropus rufus) kangaroos

Ouwerkerk, D. and Maguire, A.J. and McMillen, L. and Klieve, A.V. (2009) Hydrogen utilising bacteria from the forestomach of eastern grey (Macropus giganteus) and red (Macropus rufus) kangaroos. Animal Production Science, 49 (11). pp. 1043-1051.

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Article Link(s): http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/EA08294

Publisher URL: http://www.publish.csiro.au

Abstract

Reductive acetogenesis is an alternative to methanogenesis for removing hydrogen produced during enteric fermentation. In Australia, kangaroos have evolved an enlarged forestomach analogous to the rumen of sheep and cattle. However, unlike sheep and cattle, kangaroos produce very little methane from enteric fermentation. From samples of gut contents from five eastern grey and three red kangaroos, we were not able to detect methanogens using a PCR protocol, but did detect the formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS) gene (likely to be used for reductive acetogenesis) in all animals. Isolations to recover acetogens resulted in two different classes of hydrogen consuming bacteria being isolated. The first class consisted of acetogens that possessed the FTHFS gene, which except for Clostridium glycolicum, were not closely related to any previously cultured bacteria. The second class were not acetogens but consisted of enterobacteria (Escherichia coli and Shigella) that did not possess FTHFS genes but did utilise hydrogen and produce acetate. Enumeration of the acetogens containing the FTHFS gene by real-time PCR indicated that bacteria of the taxa designated YE257 were common to all the kangaroos whereas YE266/YE273 were only detected in eastern grey kangaroos. When present, both species occurred at densities above *106 cell equivalents per mL. C. glycolicum was not detected in the kangaroos and, unlike YE257 and YE266/273, is unlikely to play a major role in reductive acetogenesis in the foregut of kangaroos.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© CSIRO
Keywords:Acetic acid; genes; hydrogen; methane; microbial flora; polymerase chain reaction; stomach; wild animals; clostridium; escherichia coli; kangaroos; bacteria; marsupials; mammals; vertebrates.
Subjects:Science > Physiology > Animal biochemistry
Science > Zoology > Chordates. Vertebrates > Mammals > Marsupialia. Marsupials > Diprotodontia (Kangaroos, koalas, possums, wombats, bilbies etc)
Deposited On:04 Feb 2010 06:17
Last Modified:07 Jun 2011 03:47

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