Evaluations of different hypervariable regions of archaeal 16S rRNA genes in profiling of methanogens by Archaea-specific PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis.
ABSTRACT: Different hypervariable (V) regions of the archaeal 16S rRNA gene (rrs) were compared systematically to establish a preferred V region(s) for use in Archaea-specific PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The PCR products of the V3 region produced the most informative DGGE profiles and permitted identification of common methanogens from rumen samples from sheep. This study also showed that different methanogens might be detected when different V regions are targeted by PCR-DGGE. Dietary fat appeared to transiently stimulate Methanosphaera stadtmanae but inhibit Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 in rumen samples.
Project description:Cattle with high feed efficiencies (designated "efficient") produce less methane gas than those with low feed efficiencies (designated "inefficient"); however, the role of the methane producers in such difference is unknown. This study investigated whether the structures and populations of methanogens in the rumen were associated with differences in cattle feed efficiencies by using culture-independent methods. Two 16S rRNA libraries were constructed using approximately 800-bp amplicons generated from pooled total DNA isolated from efficient (n = 29) and inefficient (n = 29) animals. Sequence analysis of up to 490 randomly selected clones from each library showed that the methanogenic composition was variable: less species variation (22 operational taxonomic units [OTUs]) was detected in the rumens of efficient animals, compared to 27 OTUs in inefficient animals. The methanogenic communities in inefficient animals were more diverse than those in efficient ones, as revealed by the diversity indices of 0.84 and 0.42, respectively. Differences at the strain and genotype levels were also observed and found to be associated with feed efficiency in the host. No difference was detected in the total population of methanogens, but the prevalences of Methanosphaera stadtmanae and Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 were 1.92 (P < 0.05) and 2.26 (P < 0.05) times higher in inefficient animals, while Methanobrevibacter sp. strain AbM4 was reported for the first time to occur in the bovine rumen. Our data indicate that the methanogenic ecology at the species, strain, and/or genotype level in the rumen may play important roles in contributing to the difference in methane gas production between cattle with different feed efficiencies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Interest in methanogens from ruminants has resulted from the role of methane in global warming and from the fact that cattle typically lose 6 % of ingested energy as methane. Several species of methanogens have been isolated from ruminants. However they are difficult to culture, few have been consistently found in high numbers, and it is likely that major species of rumen methanogens are yet to be identified. RESULTS:Total DNA from clarified bovine rumen fluid was amplified using primers specific for Archaeal 16S rRNA gene sequences (rDNA). Phylogenetic analysis of 41 rDNA sequences identified three clusters of methanogens. The largest cluster contained two distinct subclusters with rDNA sequences similar to Methanobrevibacter ruminantium 16S rDNA. A second cluster contained sequences related to 16S rDNA from Methanosphaera stadtmanae, an organism not previously described in the rumen. The third cluster contained rDNA sequences that may form a novel group of rumen methanogens. CONCLUSIONS:The current set of 16S rRNA hybridization probes targeting methanogenic Archaea does not cover the phylogenetic diversity present in the rumen and possibly other gastro-intestinal tract environments. New probes and quantitative PCR assays are needed to determine the distribution of the newly identified methanogen clusters in rumen microbial communities.
Project description:Understanding ruminal methanogens is essential for greenhouse gas mitigation, as well as for improving animal performance in the livestock industry. It has been speculated that ruminal methanogenic diversity affects host feed efficiency and results in differences in methane production. This study examined methanogenic profiles in the rumen using culture-independent PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE) analysis for 56 beef cattle which differed in feed efficiency, as well as diet (the cattle were fed a low-energy diet or a high-energy diet). The methanogenic PCR-DGGE profiles detected were greatly affected by diet, and the major pattern changed from a community containing predominantly Methanobrevibacter ruminantium NT7 with the low-energy diet to a community containing predominantly Methanobrevibacter smithii, Methanobrevibacter sp. AbM4, and/or M. ruminantium NT7 with the high-energy diet. For each diet, the methanogenic PCR-DGGE pattern was strongly associated with the feed efficiency of the host. Diet-associated bands for Methanobrevibacter sp. AbM4 and M. smithii SM9 and a feed efficiency-related band for M. smithii PS were identified. The abundance of total methanogens was estimated by determining the numbers of copies of the 16S rRNA genes of methanogens. However, the size of the methanogen population did not correlate with differences in feed efficiency, diet, or metabolic measurements. Thus, the structure of the methanogenic community at the species or strain level may be more important for determining host feed efficiency under different dietary conditions.
Project description:Methanogenesis is the final step in the anaerobic degradation of organic matter. The most important substrates of methanogens are hydrogen plus carbon dioxide and acetate, but also the use of methanol, methylated amines, and aromatic methoxy groups appears to be more widespread than originally thought. Except for most members of the family Methanosarcinaceae, all methylotrophic methanogens require external hydrogen as reductant and therefore compete with hydrogenotrophic methanogens for this common substrate. Since methanogenesis from carbon dioxide consumes four molecules of hydrogen per molecule of methane, whereas methanogenesis from methanol requires only one, methyl-reducing methanogens should have an energetic advantage over hydrogenotrophic methanogens at low hydrogen partial pressures. However, experimental data on their hydrogen threshold is scarce and suffers from relatively high detection limits. Here, we show that the methyl-reducing methanogens Methanosphaera stadtmanae (Methanobacteriales), Methanimicrococcus blatticola (Methanosarcinales), and Methanomassiliicoccus luminyensis (Methanomassiliicoccales) consume hydrogen to partial pressures < 0.1 Pa, which is almost one order of magnitude lower than the thresholds for M. stadtmanae and M. blatticola reported in the only previous study on this topic. We conclude that methylotrophic methanogens should outcompete hydrogenotrophic methanogens for hydrogen and that their activity is limited by the availability of methyl groups.
Project description:A long-term monensin supplementation trial involving lactating dairy cattle was conducted to determine the effect of monensin on the quantity and diversity of rumen methanogens in vivo. Fourteen cows were paired on the basis of days in milk and parity and allocated to one of two treatment groups, receiving (i) a control total mixed ration (TMR) or (ii) a TMR with 24 mg of monensin premix/kg of diet dry matter. Rumen fluid was obtained using an ororuminal probe on day -15 (baseline) and days 20, 90, and 180 following treatment. Throughout the 6-month experiment, the quantity of rumen methanogens was not significantly affected by monensin supplementation, as measured by quantitative real-time PCR. The diversity of the rumen methanogen population was investigated using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) and 16S rRNA clone gene libraries. DGGE analysis at each sampling point indicated that the molecular diversity of rumen methanogens from monensin-treated cattle was not significantly different from that of rumen methanogens from control cattle. 16S rRNA gene libraries were constructed from samples obtained from the rumen fluids of five cows, with a total of 166 clones examined. Eleven unique 16S rRNA sequences or phylotypes were identified, five of which have not been recognized previously. The majority of clones (98.2%) belonged to the genus Methanobrevibacter, with all libraries containing Methanobrevibacter strains M6 and SM9 and a novel phylotype, UG3322.2. Overall, long-term monensin supplementation was not found to significantly alter the quantity or diversity of methanogens in the rumens of lactating dairy cattle in the present study.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Methane emissions from pigs account for 10% of total methane production from livestock in China. Methane emissions not only contribute to global warming, as it has 25 times the global warming potential (GWP) of CO2, but also represent approximately 0.1~3.3% of digestive energy loss. Methanogens also play an important role in maintaining the balance of the gut microbiome. The large intestines are the main habitat for the microbiome in pigs. Thus, to better understand the mechanism of methane production and mitigation, generic-specific and physio-ecological characteristics (including redox potential (Eh), pH and volatile fatty acids (VFAs)) and methanogens in the large intestine of pig were studied in this paper. Thirty DLY finishing pigs with the same diet and feeding conditions were selected for this experiment. RESULT:A total of 219 clones were examined using the methyl coenzyme reductase subunit A gene (mcrA) and assigned to 43 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) based on a 97% species-level identity criterion. The family Methanobacteriaceae was the dominant methanogen in colonic digesta of finishing pigs, accounting for approximately 70.6% of the identified methanogens, and comprised mainly the genera Methanobrevibacter (57%) and Methanosphaera (14%). The order Methanomassiliicoccales, classified as an uncultured taxonomy, accounted for 15.07%. The methanogenic archaeon WGK1 and unclassified Methanomicrobiales belonging to the order of Methanomicrobiales accounted for 4.57 and 1.37%, respectively. The Eh was negative and within the range?-?297.00~423.00?mV and the pH was within the range 5.04~6.97 in the large intestine. The populations of total methanogens and Methanobacteriales were stable in different parts of the large intestine according to real-time PCR. CONCLUSION:The major methanogen in the large intestine of finishing pigs was Methanobrevibacter. The seventh order Methanomassiliicoccales and species Methanosphaera stadtmanae present in the large intestine of pigs might contribute to the transfer of hydrogen and fewer methane emissions. The redox potential (Eh) was higher in the large intestine of finishing pigs, which had a positive correlation with the population of Methanobacteriale.
Project description:High throughput sequencing was used to examine the rumen microbiota of sika deer fed high (OLH) and low concentration (OLL) of tannin rich oak leaves. The results showed that Prevotella spp. were the most dominant bacteria. The most predominant methanogens were the members of the order Methanoplasmatales. The dominant rumen protozoa were Entodinium longinucleatum, Eudiplodinium maggii, and Epidinium caudatum, and the fungal communities were mostly represented by Piromyces spp. Moreover, the relative abundance of Pseudobutyrivibrio spp. (P=0.026), unidentified bacteria (P=0.028), and Prevotella spp. (P=0.022) was lower in the OLH group than in the OLL group. The concentration of propionate in the OLH group was greater than in the OLL group (P=0.006). Patterns of relationships showed that methanogens belonging to the order Methanoplasmatales were negatively correlated with Treponema spp., Ent. Longinucleatum, and acetate. Methanosphaera stadtmanae was positively correlated to propionate, while Methanobrevibacter ruminantium was negatively associated with Methanobrevibacter thaueri and Methanobrevibacter millerae. Tannins altered the rumen microbes and fermentation patterns. However, the response of the entire rumen microbiota and the relationship between rumen microorganisms and the fermentation parameters were not fully understood.
Project description:Hydrogenotrophic methanogens typically require strictly anaerobic culturing conditions in glass tubes with overpressures of H2 and CO2 that are both time-consuming and costly. To increase the throughput for screening chemical compound libraries, 96-well microtiter plate methods for the growth of a marine (environmental) methanogen Methanococcus maripaludis strain S2 and the rumen methanogen Methanobrevibacter species AbM4 were developed. A number of key parameters (inoculum size, reducing agents for medium preparation, assay duration, inhibitor solvents, and culture volume) were optimized to achieve robust and reproducible growth in a high-throughput microtiter plate format. The method was validated using published methanogen inhibitors and statistically assessed for sensitivity and reproducibility. The Sigma-Aldrich LOPAC library containing 1,280 pharmacologically active compounds and an in-house natural product library (120 compounds) were screened against M. maripaludis as a proof of utility. This screen identified a number of bioactive compounds, and MIC values were confirmed for some of them against M. maripaludis and M. AbM4. The developed method provides a significant increase in throughput for screening compound libraries and can now be used to screen larger compound libraries to discover novel methanogen-specific inhibitors for the mitigation of ruminant methane emissions.IMPORTANCE Methane emissions from ruminants are a significant contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions, and new technologies are required to control emissions in the agriculture technology (agritech) sector. The discovery of small-molecule inhibitors of methanogens using high-throughput phenotypic (growth) screening against compound libraries (synthetic and natural products) is an attractive avenue. However, phenotypic inhibitor screening is currently hindered by our inability to grow methanogens in a high-throughput format. We have developed, optimized, and validated a high-throughput 96-well microtiter plate assay for growing environmental and rumen methanogens. Using this platform, we identified several new inhibitors of methanogen growth, demonstrating the utility of this approach to fast track the development of methanogen-specific inhibitors for controlling ruminant methane emissions.
Project description:BACKGROUND: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. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: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. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: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.
Project description:Association patterns between archaea and rumen protozoa were evaluated by analyzing archaeal 16S rRNA gene clone libraries from ovine rumen inoculated with different protozoa. Five protozoan inoculation treatments, fauna free (negative control), holotrich and cellulolytic protozoa, Isotricha and Dasytricha spp., Entodinium spp., and total fauna (type A) were tested. We used denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, quantitative PCR, and phylogenetic analysis to evaluate the impact of the protozoan inoculants on the respective archaeal communities. Protozoan 18S ribosomal DNA clone libraries were also evaluated to monitor the protozoal population that was established by the inoculation. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that archaeal clones associated with the fauna-free, the Entodinium, and the type A inoculations clustered primarily with uncultured phylotypes. Polyplastron multivesiculatum was the predominant protozoan strain established by the holotrich and cellulolytic protozoan treatment, and this resulted predominantly in archaeal clones affiliated with uncultured and cultured methanogenic phylotypes (Methanosphaera stadtmanae, Methanobrevibacter ruminantium, and Methanobacterium bryantii). Furthermore, the Isotricha and Dasytricha inoculation treatment resulted primarily in archaeal clones affiliated with Methanobrevibacter smithii. This report provides the first assessment of the influence of protozoa on archaea within the rumen microbial community and provides evidence to suggest that different archaeal phylotypes associate with specific groups of protozoa. The observed patterns may be linked to the evolution of commensal and symbiotic relationships between archaea and protozoa in the ovine rumen environment. This report further underscores the prevalence and potential importance of a rather large group of uncultivated archaea in the ovine rumen, probably unrelated to known methanogens and undocumented in the bovine rumen.