Foregut fermentation occurs in mammalian ruminants and in one bird, the South American folivorous hoatzin. This bird has an enlarged crop with a function analogous to the rumen, where foregut microbes degrade the otherwise indigestible plant matter, providing energy to the host from foregut fermentation, in addition to the fermentation that occurs in their hindguts (cecum/colon). As foregut fermentation represents an evolutionary convergence between hoatzins and ruminants, our aim was to compare the community structure of foregut and hindgut bacterial communities in the cow and hoatzin to evaluate the influences of host phylogeny and organ function in shaping the gut microbiome. The approach used was to hybridize amplified bacterial ribosomal RNA genes onto a high-density microarray (PhyloChip). The results show that the microbial communities cluster primarily by functional environment (foreguts cluster separately from hindguts) and then by host. Bacterial community diversity was higher in the cow than in the hoatzin. Overall, compared with hindguts, foreguts have higher proportions of Bacteroidetes and Spirochaetes, and lower proportions of Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The main host differences in gut bacterial composition include a higher representation of Spirochaetes, Synergistetes and Verrucomicrobia in the cow. Despite the significant differences in host phylogeny, body size, physiology and diet, the function seems to shape the microbial communities involved in fermentation. Regardless of the independent origin of foregut fermentation in birds and mammals, organ function has led to convergence of the microbial community structure in phylogenetically distant hosts.
microbiota; foregut; hindgut; hoatzin; cow; PhyloChip
The rumen, the foregut of herbivorous ruminant animals such as cattle, functions as a bioreactor to process complex plant material. Among the numerous and diverse microbes involved in ruminal digestion are the ruminal protozoans, which are single-celled, ciliated eukaryotic organisms. An activity-based screen was executed to identify genes encoding fibrolytic enzymes present in the metatranscriptome of a bovine ruminal protozoan-enriched cDNA expression library. Of the four novel genes identified, two were characterized in biochemical assays. Our results provide evidence for the effective use of functional metagenomics to retrieve novel enzymes from microbial populations that cannot be maintained in axenic cultures.
Although the nature of ruminant evolution is still disputed, current theory based on physiology and genetic analysis suggests that the abomasum is the evolutionarily oldest stomach compartment, the rumen evolved some time after the abomasum, and the omasum is the evolutionarily youngest stomach compartment. In addition, there is some evidence of relaxed selective constraint in the stomach-like organ and the foregut shortly after the foregut formation event. Along with the assumption of a mean, stochastic rate of evolution, analysis of differences in genetic profiles among digestive body organs can give clues to the relationships among these organs. The presence of large numbers of uniquely expressed entries in the abomasum and rumen indicates either a period of relaxed selective constraint or greater evolutionary age. Additionally, differences in expression profiles indicate that the abomasum, rumen, and intestine are more closely related to each other, while the reticulum and omasum are more closely related to the rumen. Functional analysis using Gene Ontology (GO) categories also supports the proposed evolutionary relationships by identifying shared functions, such as muscle activity and development, lipid transport, and urea metabolism, between all sections of the digestive tract investigated.
Conventional biodiversity surveys play an important role in ensuring good conservation friendly management in tropical forest regions but are demanding in terms of expertise, time, and budget. Can local people help? Here, we illustrate how local knowledge can support low cost conservation surveys. We worked in the Malinau watershed, East Kalimantan, Indonesia, an area currently at risk of extensive forest loss. We selected eight species of regional conservation interest: rafflesia (Rafflesia spp.), black orchid (Coelogyne pandurata), sun bear (Helarctos malayanus), tarsier (Tarsius bancanus), slow loris (Nycticebus coucang), proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus), clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi/N. nebulosa), and orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus). We asked 52 informants in seven villages if, where and when they had observed these species. We used maps, based on both geo-referenced and sketched features, to record these observations. Verification concerns and related issues are discussed. Evaluations suggest our local information is reliable. Our study took 6 weeks and cost about USD 5000. Extensive expert based field surveys across the same region would cost one or two orders of magnitude more. The records extend the known distribution for sun bear, tarsier, slow loris, and clouded leopard. Reports of rafflesia, proboscis monkey, and orang-utan are of immediate conservation significance. While quality concerns should never be abandoned, we conclude that local people can help expand our knowledge of large areas in an effective, reliable, and low cost manner and thus contribute to improved management.
Local knowledge; Accuracy; Expertise time and budget; Conservation; East Kalimantan
Lysozymes, enzymes mostly associated with defence against bacterial infections, are mureinolytic. Ruminants have evolved a gastric c type lysozyme as a digestive enzyme, and profit from digestion of foregut bacteria, after most dietary components, including protein, have been fermented in the rumen. In this work we characterized the biological activities of bovine gastric secretions against membranes, purified murein and bacteria.
Bovine gastric extract (BGE) was active against both G+ and G- bacteria, but the effect against Gram- bacteria was not due to the lysozyme, since purified BGL had only activity against Gram+ bacteria. We were unable to find small pore forming peptides in the BGE, and found that the inhibition of Gram negative bacteria by BGE was due to an artefact caused by acetate. We report for first time the activity of bovine gastric lysozyme (BG lysozyme) against pure bacterial cultures, and the specific resistance of some rumen Gram positive strains to BGL.
Some Gram+ rumen bacteria showed resistance to abomasum lysozyme. We discuss the implications of this finding in the light of possible practical applications of such a stable antimicrobial peptide.
Cicer milkvetch (Astragalus cicer L.) is a perennial legume used as a pasture or rangeland plant for ruminants. A study was undertaken to determine whether reported variations in its ruminal digestibility may be related to the presence of an antinutritive material. In vitro fermentation of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) of cicer milkvetch by mixed rumen microflora was poorer than was the fermentation of NDF in alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.). Fermentation of cicer milkvetch NDF was improved by preextraction of the ground herbage with water for 3 h at 39 degrees C. Such water extracts selectively inhibited in vitro fermentation of pure cellulose by mixed ruminal microflora and by pure cultures of the ruminal bacteria Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1 and Fibrobacter succinogenes S85. Inhibition of the cellulose fermentation by mixed ruminal microflora was dependent upon the concentration of cicer milkvetch extract and was overcome upon prolonged incubation. Pure cultures exposed to the extract did not recover from inhibition, even after long incubation times, unless the inhibitory agent was removed (viz., by dilution of inhibited cultures into fresh medium). The extract did not affect the fermentation of cellobiose by R. flavefaciens but did cause some inhibition of cellobiose fermentation by F. succinogenes. Moreover, the extracts did not inhibit hydrolysis of crystalline cellulose, carboxymethyl cellulose, or p-nitrophenylcellobioside by supernatants of these pure cultures of cellulolytic bacteria or by a commercial cellulase preparation from the fungus Trichoderma reesei. The agent caused cellulose-adherent cells to detach from cellulose fibers, suggesting that the agent may act, at least in part, by disrupting the glycocalyx necessary for adherence to, and rapid digestion of, cellulose.
Mesenchymal cells underlying the definitive endoderm in vertebrate animals play a vital role in digestive and respiratory organogenesis. Although several signaling pathways are implicated in foregut patterning and morphogenesis, and despite the clinical importance of congenital tracheal and esophageal malformations in humans, understanding of molecular mechanisms that allow a single tube to separate correctly into the trachea and esophagus is incomplete. The homoebox gene Barx1 is highly expressed in prospective stomach mesenchyme and required to specify this organ. We observed lower Barx1 expression extending contiguously from the proximal stomach domain, along the dorsal anterior foregut mesenchyme and in mesenchymal cells between the nascent esophagus and trachea. This expression pattern exactly mirrors the decline in Wnt signaling activity in late development of the adjacent dorsal foregut endoderm and medial mainstem bronchi. The hypopharynx in Barx1−/− mouse embryos is abnormally elongated and the point of esophago-tracheal separation shows marked caudal displacement, resulting in a common foregut tube that is similar to human congenital tracheo-esophageal fistula and explains neonatal lethality. Moreover, the Barx1−/− esophagus displays molecular and cytologic features of respiratory endoderm, phenocopying abnormalities observed in mouse embryos with activated ß-catenin. The zone of canonical Wnt signaling is abnormally prolonged and expanded in the proximal Barx1−/− foregut. Thus, as in the developing stomach, but distinct from the spleen, Barx1 control of thoracic foregut specification and tracheo-esophageal septation is tightly associated with down-regulation of adjacent Wnt pathway activity.
Tannins in forages complex with protein and reduce the availability of nitrogen to ruminants. Ruminal bacteria that ferment protein or peptides in the presence of tannins may benefit digestion of these diets. Bacteria from the rumina of sheep and goats fed Calliandra calothyrsus (3.6% N and 6% condensed tannin) were isolated on proteinaceous agar medium overlaid with either condensed (calliandra tannin) or hydrolyzable (tannic acid) tannin. Fifteen genotypes were identified, based on 16S ribosomal DNA-restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis, and all were proteolytic and fermented peptides to ammonia. Ten of the isolates grew to high optical density (OD) on carbohydrates (glucose, cellobiose, xylose, xylan, starch, and maltose), while the other isolates did not utilize or had low growth on these substrates. In pure culture, representative isolates were unable to ferment protein that was present in calliandra or had been complexed with tannin. One isolate, Lp1284, had high protease activity (80 U), a high specific growth rate (0.28), and a high rate of ammonia production (734 nmol/min/ml/OD unit) on Casamino Acids and Trypticase Peptone. Phylogenetic analysis of the 16S ribosomal DNA sequence showed that Lp1284 was related (97.6%) to Clostridium botulinum NCTC 7273. Purified plant protein and casein also supported growth of Lp1284 and were fermented to ammonia. This is the first report of a proteolytic, ammonia-hyperproducing bacterium from the rumen. In conclusion, a diverse group of proteolytic and peptidolytic bacteria were present in the rumen, but the isolates could not digest protein that was complexed with condensed tannin.
The digestion kinetics of a variety of pure celluloses were examined by using an in vitro assay employing mixed ruminal microflora and a modified detergent extraction procedure to recover residual cellulose. Digestion of all of the celluloses was described by a discontinuous first-order rate equation to yield digestion rate constants and discrete lag times. These kinetic parameters were compared with the relative crystallinity indices and estimated accessible surface areas of the celluloses. For type I celluloses having similar crystallinities and simple nonaggregating particle morphologies, the fermentation rate constants displayed a strong positive correlation (r2 = 0.978) with gross specific surface area; lag time exhibited a weaker, negative correlation (r2 = 0.930) with gross specific surface area. Crystallinity was shown to have a relatively minor effect on the digestion rate and lag time. Swelling of microcrystalline cellulose with 72 to 77% phosphoric acid yielded substrates which were fermented slightly more rapidly than the original material. However, treatment with higher concentrations of phosphoric acid resulted in a more slowly fermented substrate, despite a decrease in crystallinity and an increase in pore volume. This reduced fermentation rate was apparently due to the partial conversion of the cellulose from the type I to the type II allomorph, since mercerized (type II) cellulose was also fermented more slowly, and only after a much longer lag period. The results are consistent with earlier evidence for the cell-associated nature of cellulolytic enzymes of ruminal bacteria and suggest that ruminal microflora do not rapidly adapt to utilization of celluloses with altered unit cell structures.
Ruminal microbial populations, fermentation characteristics, digestibility, and liquid flow rates in two ruminally cannulated bison and two ruminally cannulated Hereford steers fed a prairie hay diet were compared. No significant differences in anaerobic bacterial counts, volatile fatty acid concentrations, or ruminal pHs were evident between bison and cattle. Also, no significant differences in neutral detergent fiber digestibility, indigestible fiber retention time, or intake were detected between bison and cattle, although cattle had higher levels (P less than 0.08) of ruminal dry matter and indigestible fiber than bison. Bison had a smaller (P = .02) ruminoreticular volume, faster liquid dilution rates, and faster liquid turnover times than cattle. The average ruminal ammonia nitrogen concentration was higher (P = 0.02) in bison (1.17 mg/dl) than in cattle (0.79 mg/dl). Total ciliate protozoal counts and cell volume were greater (P = 0.07) in bison (32.8 x 10(4)/g and 407.1 x 10(-4) ml/g, respectively) than in cattle (15.7 x 10(4)/g and 162.2 x 10(-4) ml/g, respectively). Bison harbored higher (P less than 0.02) numbers of Dasytricha spp., Eudiplodinium maggii, Eudiplodinium bursa, and Epidinium spp. than cattle and possessed a type B protozoan population. The cattle possessed a mixed type A-type B population that was characterized by Ophryoscolex spp. and Polyplastron spp. in association with low concentrations of Epidinium spp. and Eudiplodinium maggii.
The aim of this work was to determine whether reductive acetogenesis can provide an alternative to methanogenesis in the rumen. Gnotobiotic lambs were inoculated with a functional rumen microbiota lacking methanogens and reared to maturity on a fibrous diet. Lambs with a methanogen-free rumen grew well, and the feed intake and ruminal volatile fatty acid concentrations for lambs lacking ruminal methanogens were lower but not markedly dissimilar from those for conventional lambs reared on the same diet. A high population density (107 to 108 cells g−1) of ruminal acetogens slowly developed in methanogen-free lambs. Sulfate- and fumarate-reducing bacteria were present, but their population densities were highly variable. In methanogen-free lambs, the hydrogen capture from fermentation was low (28 to 46%) in comparison with that in lambs containing ruminal methanogens (>90%). Reductive acetogenesis was not a significant part of ruminal fermentation in conventional lambs but contributed 21 to 25% to the fermentation in methanogen-free meroxenic animals. Ruminal H2 utilization was lower in lambs lacking ruminal methanogens, but when a methanogen-free lamb was inoculated with a methanogen, the ruminal H2 utilization was similar to that in conventional lambs. H2 utilization in lambs containing a normal ruminal microflora was age dependent and increased with the animal age. The animal age effect was less marked in lambs lacking ruminal methanogens. Addition of fumarate to rumen contents from methanogen-free lambs increased H2 utilization. These findings provide the first evidence from animal studies that reductive acetogens can sustain a functional rumen and replace methanogens as a sink for H2 in the rumen.
The objective of this study was to assess the influence of ciliated protozoa on ruminal fermentation in cattle fed high-grain diets. Six ruminally cannulated steers fed a corn-based grain diet (85% concentrate plus 15% alfalfa hay) at 12-h intervals were assigned randomly to two groups, ciliate free and faunated, in a crossover design. Defaunation was by ruminal emptying, omasal flushing, and treatment with sodium sulfosuccinate. Two to 3 weeks after defaunation, the ruminal contents of all steers were sampled before the morning feeding (0 h) and at 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12 h after feeding to measure pH, analyze fermentation products, and monitor counts of ciliated protozoa and lactic acid-producing and -fermenting bacterial groups. Total numbers of ciliated protozoa in the faunated steers averaged 4.3 x 10(5)/g, and the protozoa consisted of nine genera. Ciliate-free steers had lower (P less than 0.01) ruminal pHs (pH 5.97) than faunated cattle (pH 6.45); however, the treatment-time interaction was not significant. Ruminal lactate and ammonia concentrations were similar in both groups. The total volatile fatty acid concentration was higher (P less than 0.05) in the ciliate-free steers than in the faunated steers and exhibited a treatment-time interaction (P less than 0.05). The acetate-to-propionate ratio was higher (P less than 0.05) in the faunated group than in the ciliate-free group and showed a treatment-time interaction (P less than 0.05). Total anaerobic bacterial counts were about fourfold higher in the ciliate-free group than in the faunated group.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Improvement of biofeedstock quality for cellulosic ethanol production will be facilitated by inexpensive and rapid methods of evaluation, such as those already employed in the field of ruminant nutrition. Our objective was to evaluate whether forage quality and compositional measurements could be used to estimate ethanol yield of maize stover as measured by a simplified pretreatment and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation assay. Twelve maize varieties selected to be diverse for stover digestibility and composition were evaluated.
Variation in ethanol yield was driven by glucan convertibility rather than by glucan content. Convertibility was highly correlated with ruminal digestibility and lignin content. There was no relationship between structural carbohydrate content (glucan and neutral detergent fiber) and ethanol yield. However, when these variables were included in multiple regression equations including convertibility or neutral detergent fiber digestibility, their partial regression coefficients were significant and positive. A regression model including both neutral detergent fiber and its ruminal digestibility explained 95% of the variation in ethanol yield.
Forage quality and composition measurements may be used to predict cellulosic ethanol yield to guide biofeedstock improvement through agronomic research and plant breeding.
Foregut neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) include those arising in the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, and duodenum and seem to have a broad range of clinical behavior from benign to metastatic. Several factors including the advent of screening endoscopy may be related to increased incidence of gastrointestinal NETs; thus, many foregut NETs are diagnosed at an early stage. Early foregut NETs, such as those of the stomach and duodenum, can be managed with endoscopic treatment because of a low frequency of lymph node and distant metastases. However, controversy continues concerning the optimal management of early foregut NETs due to a lack of controlled prospective studies. Several issues such as indications, technical issues, and outcomes of endoscopic treatment for early foregut NETs are reviewed based on some published studies.
Stomach; Duodenum; Neuroendocrine tumors; Endoscopic treatment
A mathematical model was developed to describe a dialysis process for the continuous fermentation of whey lactose to lactic acid, with neutralization to a constant pH by ammonia. In the process, whey of a relatively high concentration is fed into the fermentor circuit at a relatively low rate so that the residual concentration of lactose is low. The fermentor effluent contains ammonium lactate, bacterial cells, and residual whey solids and could be used as a nitrogen-enriched feedstuff for ruminant animals. Only water is fed into the dialysate circuit at a relatively high rate. The dialysate effluent contains purified ammonium lactate and could be converted to lactic acid and ammonium sulfate for industry. The fermentation was specifically modeled as a set of equations representing material balances and rate relationships in the two circuits. Dialysis continuous fermentations, in general, were modeled by combining these equations and by using dimensionless parameters. The generalized model was then solved for the steady state and used to simulate the specific fermentation on a digital computer. The results showed the effects of various material and operational and kinetic parameters on the process and predicted that it could be operated efficiently.
Previous research has demonstrated the efficacy of the noncontingent delivery of foods and liquids at suppressing rumination, the repeated regurgitation and rechewing of partially digested food. However, it is unclear how long this reduction is maintained after caregivers terminate this procedure. The current study examined the direct and distal effects of noncontingent juice on rumination by measuring the duration of rumination during juice delivery and immediately following the termination of juice delivery. Noncontingent juice suppressed rumination, but this suppression was not maintained after delivery termination.
autism; noncontingent reinforcement; rumination
Bacteriophages were observed in forestomach contents from three species of Australian macropodoid marsupials possessing a foregut fermentative digestion: the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), the eastern wallaroo (Macropus robustus robustus), and the rufous bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens). Forty-six morphologically distinct phage types, representing the families Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, and Podoviridae, were identified. The range of forms varied between host species. The greatest diversity of phage types was found in forestomach contents of the wallaroo, and few phage types were recorded from the rufous bettongs. It is concluded that macropodoid marsupials, in common with their eutherian counterparts, possess diverse populations of bacteriophages in their fermentative forestomachs.
The hoatzin is unique among known avian species because of the fermentative function of its enlarged crop. A small-bodied flying foregut fermenter is a paradox, and this bird provides an interesting model to examine how diet selection and the gut microbiota contribute to maximizing digestive efficiency. Therefore, we characterized the bacterial population in the crop of six adult hoatzins captured from the wild. A total of 1,235 16S rRNA gene sequences were grouped into 580 phylotypes (67% of the pooled species richness sampled, based on Good's coverage estimator, with CACE and Chao1 estimates of 1,709 and 1,795 species-level [99% identity] operational taxonomic units, respectively). Members of 9 of the ∼75 known phyla in Bacteria were identified in this gut habitat; the Firmicutes were dominant (67% of sequences, belonging to the classes Clostridia, Mollicutes, and Bacilli), followed by the Bacteroidetes (30%, mostly in the order Bacteroidales), Proteobacteria (1.8%), and Lentisphaerae, Verrucomicrobia, TM7, Spirochaetes, Actinobacteria, and Aminanaerobia (all <0.1%). The novelty in this ecosystem is great; 94% of the phylotypes were unclassified at the “species” level and thus likely include novel cellulolytic lineages.
An axiomatic feature of food consumption by animals is that intake rate and prey abundance are positively related. While this has been demonstrated rigorously for large herbivores, it is apparent from patch selection trials that grazers paradoxically tend to prefer short, sparse swards to tall, dense swards. Indeed, migratory herbivores often shift from areas of high to low sward biomass during the growing season. As nutritional quality is an inverse function of grass abundance, herbivores appear to sacrifice short-term intake for nutritional gains obtainable by eating sparse forage of higher quality. Explicit models of this trade-off suggest that individual ruminants maximize daily rates of energy gain by choosing immature swards of intermediate biomass. As body mass is related positively to both ruminant cropping rates and digestibility, there should be an allometric link between grass abundance and energy maximization, providing a tool for predicting patterns of herbivore habitat selection. We used previously published studies to develop a synthetic model of trade-offs between forage abundance and quality predicting that optimal sward biomass should scale allometrically with body size. The model predicts size-related variation in habitat selection observed in a guild of grazing ungulates in the Serengeti ecosystem.
The current study investigates auditory-motor coupling in musically trained participants using a Stroop-type task that required the execution of simple finger sequences according to aurally presented number sequences (e.g., “2,” “4,” “5,” “3,” “1”). Digital remastering was used to manipulate the pitch contour of the number sequences such that they were either congruent or incongruent with respect to the resulting action sequence. Conservatoire-level violinists showed a strong effect of congruency manipulation (increased response time for incongruent vs. congruent trials), in comparison to a control group of non-musicians. In Experiment 2, this paradigm was used to determine whether pedagogical background would influence this effect in a group of young violinists. Suzuki trained violinists differed significantly from those with no musical background, while traditionally trained violinists did not. The findings extend previous research in this area by demonstrating that obligatory audio-motor coupling is directly related to a musicians' expertise on their instrument of study and is influenced by pedagogy.
musicians; stroop; audio-motor; learning; violinist
The purpose of this study was to assess the in vitro antimicrobial activity of alkaloid-enriched extracts from Prosopis juliflora (Fabaceae) pods in order to evaluate them as feed additives for ruminants. As only the basic chloroformic extract (BCE), whose main constituents were juliprosopine (juliflorine), prosoflorine and juliprosine, showed Gram-positive antibacterial activity against Micrococcus luteus (MIC = 25 μg/mL), Staphylococcus aureus (MIC = 50 μg/mL) and Streptococcus mutans (MIC = 50 μg/mL), its influence on ruminal digestion was evaluated using a semi-automated in vitro gas production technique, with monensin as the positive control. Results showed that BCE has decreased gas production as efficiently as monensin after 36 h of fermentation, revealing its positive influence on gas production during ruminal digestion. Since P. juliflora is a very affordable plant, this study points out this alkaloid enriched extract from the pods of Prosopis juliflora as a potential feed additive to decrease gas production during ruminal digestion.
antibacterial activity; Prosopis juliflora pods; juliprosopine (juliflorine); prosoflorine; juliprosine; in vitro ruminal digestion; feed additives
The earthworm gut is a unique microzone in aerated soils that has been proposed to selectively stimulate ingested soil microorganisms by its in situ conditions, which include anoxia, high water content, a near-neutral pH, and high concentrations of organic compounds. The central objective of this study was to resolve potential links between in situ conditions and anaerobic microbial activities during the gut passage of Lumbricus terrestris. Both H2 and N2O were emitted by living earthworms, and in situ microsensor analyses revealed both H2 and N2O in the O2-free gut center. The highest H2 concentrations occurred in foregut and midgut regions, whereas the highest N2O concentrations occurred in crop/gizzard and hindgut regions. Thus, H2-producing fermentations were more localized in the foregut and midgut, whereas denitrification was more localized in the crop/gizzard and hindgut. Moisture content, total carbon, and total nitrogen were highest in the foregut and decreased from the anterior to posterior end of the gut. Nitrite, ammonium, and iron(II) concentrations were highest in the crop/gizzard and decreased from the anterior to posterior end of the alimentary canal. Concentrations of soluble organic compounds were indicative of distinct fermentation processes along the alimentary canal, with maximal concentrations of organic acids (e.g., acetate and butyrate) occurring in the midgut. These findings suggest that earthworms (i) contribute to the terrestrial cycling of carbon and nitrogen via anaerobic microbial activities in the alimentary canal and (ii) constitute a mobile source of reductant (i.e., emitted H2) for microbiota in aerated soils.
As a non-ruminant herbivore, the white rhinoceros has the ability to utilize fibrous plant matter through microbial fermentation in the hindgut. So far, there has been no report using molecular techniques to study the gut microbiota of the white rhinoceros. We used barcoded pyrosequencing to characterize 105,651 sequences of 16S rRNA genes obtained from fecal samples from five white rhinoceroses. Results showed that Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were the predominant phyla in the samples, which were comprised largely of unclassified bacteria. The microbiota of one animal treated with drug therapy differed from those in other healthy animals, and was dominated by Aerococcus -related bacteria. The core microbiota in the healthy rhinoceros were dominated by phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, represented by the Ruminococcaceae, Lachnospiraceae, Rikenellaceae and Prevotellaceae families. The present work provides a phylogenetic framework for understanding the complex microbial community of the rhinoceros; however, further studies are required to link the distinctive microbiota with their digestive role in the hindgut of the white rhinoceros.
Phylogenetic relationships among Asian and African colobine genera have been disputed and are not yet well established. In the present study, we revisit the contentious relationships within the Asian and African Colobinae by analyzing 44 nuclear non-coding genes (>23 kb) and mitochondrial (mt) genome sequences from 14 colobine and 4 non-colobine primates.
The combined nuclear gene and the mt genome as well as the combined nuclear and mt gene analyses yielded different phylogenetic relationships among colobine genera with the exception of a monophyletic ‘odd-nosed’ group consisting of Rhinopithecus, Pygathrix and Nasalis, and a monophyletic African group consisting of Colobus and Piliocolobus. The combined nuclear data analyses supported a sister-grouping between Semnopithecus and Trachypithecus, and between Presbytis and the odd-nosed monkey group, as well as a sister-taxon association of Pygathrix and Rhinopithecus within the odd-nosed monkey group. In contrast, mt genome data analyses revealed that Semnopithecus diverged earliest among the Asian colobines and that the odd-nosed monkey group is sister to a Presbytis and Trachypithecus clade, as well as a close association of Pygathrix with Nasalis. The relationships among these genera inferred from the analyses of combined nuclear and mt genes, however, varied with the tree-building methods used. Another remarkable finding of the present study is that all of our analyses rejected the recently proposed African colobine paraphyly and hybridization hypothesis and supported reciprocal monophyly of the African and Asian groups.
The phylogenetic utility of large-scale new non-coding genes was assessed using the Colobinae as a model, We found that these markers were useful for distinguishing nodes resulting from rapid radiation episodes such as the Asian colobine radiation. None of these markers here have previously been used for colobine phylogenetic reconstruction, increasing the spectrum of molecular markers available to mammalian systematics.
The foreguts of the mysids Antarctomysis maxima, A. ohlinii, Hansenomysis antarctica, Heteromysis formosa, Mesopodopsis slabberi, Neomysis integer, Paramysis kessleri, Praunus flexuosus, and Siriella jaltensis were examined by maceration methods, histological techniques, and scanning electron microscopy. Their morphology, their connection with the midgut glands, and probable function are described and summarized. Previous stomach investigations on mysids and the results of the present study are tabulated; a list of foregut characters, common to all Mysida, is presented. The phylogenetic relevance of these characters within the Malacostraca, especially within the Peracarida, is discussed. Most features are inherited from the ground pattern of the Malacostraca or Eumalacostraca. The bulbous cardia with its dorsal fold, the armature of the lateralia, and the construction of the funnel region are apomorphies for the Mysida. The results suggest that characters of mysidan and other peracaridan foreguts might also be useful in the elucidation of the phylogeny of the Mysida and Peracarida, respectively.