Characteristics and Functions of the Rumen Microbial Community of Cattle-Yak at Different Ages.
ABSTRACT: A cattle-yak, which is a hybrid between a yak (Bos grunniens) and cattle (Bos taurus), is an important livestock animal, but basic questions regarding its physiology and environmental adaptation remain unanswered. To address this issue, the present study examined the species composition and functional characteristics of rumen microorganisms in the cattle-yak of different ages (2 and 3 years old) by metagenomic analysis. We found that rumen microbial community composition was similar at the two ages. Firmicutes, Fibrobacteres, Euryarchaeota, Bacteroidetes, and Proteobacteria were the predominant phyla, with Firmicutes accounting for the highest percentage of bacteria in 2-year-old (48%) and 3-year-old (46%) animals. Bacterial species involved in lignocellulose degradation were detected in the rumen of adult cattle-yaks including Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Ruminococcus albus, Fibrobacter succinogenes, and Prevotella ruminicola, with F. succinogenes being the most abundant. A total of 145,489 genes were annotated according to the Carbohydrate-active Enzyme database, which identified glycoside hydrolases as the most highly represented enzyme family. Further functional annotation revealed specific microflora and genes in the adult rumen that are potentially related to plateau adaptability. These results could explain the heterosis of the cattle-yak and provide insight into mechanisms of physiologic adaptation in plateau animals.
Project description:Yak (Bos grunniens) is an unique ruminant species in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). The ruminant gastrointestinal tract (GIT) microbiota is not only associated with the nutrients metabolism, but also contributes to the host's local adaptation. Examining the microbiota between cattle and yak in different geography could improve our understanding about the role of microbiota in metabolism and adaptation. To this end, we compared the microbiota in rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum of dairy cattle, yellow cattle, and three yak herds (WQ yak, SZ yak, and ZB yak) lived in different altitude, based on sequencing the bacterial 16S rRNA gene on Illumina Miseq. The bacterial diversity was significantly different among five breeds, whereas the difference among four stomach regions is limited. The phyla Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were the dominated bacteria regardless of breeds and regions. The nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) results showed that the microbiota in dairy cattle, yellow cattle and WQ yak significantly differed from that in SZ yak and ZB yak for all four stomach compartments. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that Prevotella and Succiniclasticum spp. were abundant in dairy cattle, yellow cattle and WQ yak, whereas the Christensenellaceae R7 group and the Lachnospiraceae UCG 008 group were prevalent in SZ yak and ZB yak. Moreover, the microbiota in WQ yak was significantly different from that in SZ yak and ZB yak, which were characterized by the higher relative abundance Romboutsia spp., Eubacterium coprostanoligenes, Acetobacter spp., Mycoplasma spp., and Rikenellaceae RC9 group. Overall, these results improves our knowledge about the GIT microbiota composition of QTP ruminant.
Project description:The yak rumen microflora has more efficient fiber-degrading and energy-harvesting abilities than that of low-altitude cattle; however, few studies have investigated the effects of dietary energy levels on the rumen bacterial populations and the relationship between rumen bacteria and the intramuscular fatty acid profile of fattening yaks. In this study, thirty yaks were randomly assigned to three groups. Each group received one of the three isonitrogenous diets with low (3.72 MJ/kg), medium (4.52 MJ/kg), and high (5.32 MJ/kg) levels of net energy for maintenance and fattening. After 120 days of feeding, results showed that increasing dietary energy significantly increased ruminal propionate fermentation and reduced ammonia concentration. The 16S rDNA sequencing results showed that increasing dietary energy significantly increased the ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes and stimulated the relative abundance of Succiniclasticum, Saccharofermentans, Ruminococcus, and Blautia populations. The quantitative real-time PCR analysis showed that high dietary energy increased the abundances of Streptococcus bovis, Prevotella ruminicola, and Ruminobacter amylophilus at the species level. Association analysis showed that ruminal acetate was positively related to some intramuscular saturated fatty acid (SFA) contents, and Prevotella was significantly positively related to intramuscular total polyunsaturated fatty acid content and negatively related to intramuscular total SFA content. This study showed that high dietary energy mainly increased ruminal amylolytic and propionate-producing bacteria populations, which gave insights into how the effects of dietary energy on rumen bacteria are related to intramuscular fat fatty acids of fattening yaks.
Project description:The aim of this study was to determine the microbial community composition in the rumen of yaks under different feeding regimes. Microbial communities were assessed by sequencing bacterial and archaeal 16S ribosomal RNA gene fragments obtained from yaks (Bos grunniens) from Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China. Samples were obtained from 14 animals allocated to either pasture grazing (Graze), a grazing and supplementary feeding regime (GSF), or an indoor feeding regime (Feed). The predominant bacterial phyla across feeding regimes were Bacteroidetes (51.06%) and Firmicutes (32.73%). At genus level, 25 genera were shared across all samples. The relative abundance of Prevotella in the graze and GSF regime group were significantly higher than that in the feed regime group. Meanwhile, the relative abundance of Ruminococcus was lower in the graze group than the feed and GSF regime groups. The most abundant archaeal phylum was Euryarchaeota, which accounted for 99.67% of the sequences. Ten genera were detected across feeding regimes, seven genera were shared by all samples, and the most abundant was genus Methanobrevibacter (91.60%). The relative abundance of the most detected genera were similar across feeding regime groups. Our results suggest that the ruminal bacterial community structure differs across yak feeding regimes while the archaeal community structures are largely similar.
Project description:Current knowledge about the relationships between ruminal bacterial communities and metabolite profiles in the yak rumen is limited. This is due to differences in the nutritional and metabolic features between yak and other ordinary cattle combined with difficulties associated with farm-based research and a lack of technical guidance. A comprehensive analysis of the composition and alterations in ruminal metabolites is required to advance the development of modern yak husbandry. In the current study, we characterized the effect of feed type on the ruminal fluid microbiota and metabolites in yak using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were the predominant bacterial phyla in the yak rumen. At the genus level, the relative abundance of Bacteroidales BS11 gut group, Prevotellaceae UCG-003, Ruminococcaceae UCG-011, Bacteroidales RF16 group and Ruminococcaceae UCG-010 was significantly (P < 0.01) higher in the forage group compared to that in the concentrate group, while the concentrate group harbored higher proportions of Bacteroidales S24-7 group, Ruminococcaceae NK4A214, Succiniclasticum and Ruminococcus 2. Yak rumen metabolomics analysis combined with enrichment analysis revealed that feed type altered the concentrations of ruminal metabolites as well as the metabolic pattern, and significantly (P < 0.01) affected the concentrations of ruminal metabolites involved in protein digestion and absorption (e.g., L-arginine, ornithine, L-threonine, L-proline and ?-alanine), purine metabolism (e.g., xanthine, hypoxanthine, deoxyadenosine and deoxyadenosine monophosphate) and fatty acid biosynthesis (e.g., stearic acid, myristic acid and arachidonic acid). Correlation analysis of the association of microorganisms with metabolite features provides us with a comprehensive understanding of the composition and function of microbial communities. Associations between utilization or production were widely identified between affected microbiota and certain metabolites, and these findings will contribute to the direction of future research in yak.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Methane emissions by methanogen from livestock ruminants have significantly contributed to the agricultural greenhouse gas effect. It is worthwhile to compare methanogen from "energy-saving" animal (yak) and normal animal (cattle) in order to investigate the link between methanogen structure and low methane production. RESULTS:Diversity of methanogens from the yak and cattle rumen was investigated by analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences from rumen digesta samples from four yaks (209 clones) and four cattle (205 clones) from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau area (QTP). Overall, a total of 414 clones (i.e. sequences) were examined and assigned to 95 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) using MOTHUR, based upon a 98% species-level identity criterion. Forty-six OTUs were unique to the yak clone library and 34 OTUs were unique to the cattle clone library, while 15 OTUs were found in both libraries. Of the 95 OTUs, 93 putative new species were identified. Sequences belonging to the Thermoplasmatales-affiliated Linage C (TALC) were found to dominate in both libraries, accounting for 80.9% and 62.9% of the sequences from the yak and cattle clone libraries, respectively. Sequences belonging to the Methanobacteriales represented the second largest clade in both libraries. However, Methanobrevibacter wolinii (QTPC 110) was only found in the cattle library. The number of clones from the order Methanomicrobiales was greater in cattle than in the yak clone library. Although the Shannon index value indicated similar diversity between the two libraries, the Libshuff analysis indicated that the methanogen community structure of the yak was significantly different than those from cattle. CONCLUSION:This study revealed for the first time the molecular diversity of methanogen community in yaks and cattle in Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau area in China. From the analysis, we conclude that yaks have a unique rumen microbial ecosystem that is significantly different from that of cattle, this may also help to explain why yak produce less methane than cattle.
Project description:The rumen microbiota of ruminants plays a vital role in fiber digestion, and environmental factors affect its community structure. The yak (Bos grunniens) is the main livestock species that inhabits the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) at regions located at high-altitude of 3,000-5,000 m. This work investigated the rumen bacterial community of yak that grazed on the QTP during the whole year to evaluate the relationship between the rumen bacterial community and the nutrient composition of forage plant at three stages. In this study, the diversity of the rumen prokaryotic community composition was monitored in 10 full-grazing yak in an alpine meadow of the QTP. The nutrient composition of three forage growth stages was determined: re-green stage (REGY), grassy stage (GY), and withered stage (WGY). High-throughput sequencing of bacterial 16S rRNA gene was used. The results showed that the nutritive composition of the alpine meadow changed with the seasons: crude protein (CP) (13.22%) was high in forage during REGY (spring), while neutral detergent fiber (NDF) (59.00%) was high during WGY (winter). Microbial diversity and richness were highest during REGY and the average number of operational taxonomic units from 30 samples was 4,470. The microbial composition was dominated by members of Bacteroidetes (51.82%), followed by Firmicutes (34.08%), and the relative microbial abundance changed in the three forage growth stages. Unweighted UniFrac distance PcoA showed that the bacterial community structure differed between REGY, GY, and WGY. Furthermore, taxonomic groups did not present differences regarding gender in these three stages. The rumen microbiota was enriched with functional potentials that were related to ABC transporters, the two-component system, Aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, and metabolism of Purine, Pyrimidine, Starch and sucrose metabolism. Significant differences were found in the composition, diversity, and function of yak ruminal microorganisms during different forage growth stages. This indicates that microbial changes in the rumen depend on changes in the forage nutritional composition. These findings provide evidence on the rumen microbial diversity of yaks in the QTP.
Project description:Hybridization between yak Poephagus grunniens and taurine Bos taurus or indicine B. indicus cattle has been widely practiced throughout the yak geographical range, and gene flow is expected to have occurred between these species. To assess the impact of cattle admixture on domestic yak, we examined 1076 domestic yak from 29 populations collected in China, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Russia using mitochondrial DNA and 17 autosomal microsatellite loci. A cattle diagnostic marker-based analysis reveals cattle-specific mtDNA and/or autosomal microsatellite allele introgression in 127 yak individuals from 22 populations. The mean level of cattle admixture across the populations, calculated using allelic information at 17 autosomal microsatellite loci, remains relatively low (mY(cattle) = 2.66 +/- 0.53% and Q(cattle) = 0.69 +/- 2.58%), although it varies a lot across populations as well as among individuals within population. Although the level of cattle admixture shows a clear geographical structure, with higher levels of admixture in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and Mongolian and Russian regions, and lower levels in the Himalayan and Pamir Plateau region, our results indicate that the level of cattle admixture is not significantly correlated with the altitude across geographical regions as well as within geographical region. Although yak-cattle hybridization is primarily driven to produce F(1) hybrids, our results show that the subsequent gene flow between yak and cattle took place and has affected contemporary genetic make-up of domestic yak. To protect yak genetic integrity, hybridization between yak and cattle should be tightly controlled.
Project description:A set of PCR primers was designed and validated for specific detection and quantification of Prevotella ruminicola, Prevotella albensis, Prevotella bryantii, Fibrobacter succinogenes, Selenomonas ruminantium-Mitsuokella multiacida, Streptococcus bovis, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Ruminobacter amylophilus, Eubacterium ruminantium, Treponema bryantii, Succinivibrio dextrinosolvens, and Anaerovibrio lipolytica. By using these primers and the real-time PCR technique, the corresponding species in the rumens of cows for which the diet was switched from hay to grain were quantitatively monitored. The dynamics of two fibrolytic bacteria, F. succinogenes and R. flavefaciens, were in agreement with those of earlier, culture-based experiments. The quantity of F. succinogenes DNA, predominant in animals on the hay diet, fell 20-fold on the third day of the switch to a grain diet and further declined on day 28, with a 57-fold reduction in DNA. The R. flavefaciens DNA concentration on day 3 declined to approximately 10% of its initial value in animals on the hay diet and remained at this level on day 28. During the transition period (day 3), the quantities of two ruminal prevotella DNAs increased considerably: that of P. ruminicola increased 7-fold and that of P. bryantii increased 263-fold. On day 28, the quantity of P. ruminicola DNA decreased 3-fold, while P. bryantii DNA was still elevated 10-fold in comparison with the level found in animals on the initial hay diet. The DNA specific for another xylanolytic bacterium, E. ruminantium, dropped 14-fold during the diet switch and was maintained at this level on day 28. The concentration of a rumen spirochete, T. bryantii, decreased less profoundly and stabilized with a sevenfold decline by day 28. The variations in A. lipolytica DNA were not statistically significant. After an initial slight increase in S. dextrinosolvens DNA on day 3, this DNA was not detected at the end of the experiment. S. bovis DNA displayed a 67-fold increase during the transition period on day 3. However, on day 28, it actually declined in comparison with the level in animals on the hay ration. The amount of S. ruminantium-M. multiacida DNA also increased eightfold following the diet switch, but stabilized with only a twofold increase on day 28. The real-time PCR technique also uncovered differential amplification of rumen bacterial templates with the set of universal bacterial primers. This observation may explain why some predominant rumen bacteria have not been detected in PCR-generated 16S ribosomal DNA libraries.
Project description:Small numbers of domestic yak (Bos grunniens) were imported to North America in the late 19th century indirectly from the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Coat color of yak is of interest for fiber production, aesthetics, and as a potential indicator of recent hybridization with cattle. North American yak are classified into 3 major coat color patterns depending upon the presence and extent of white markings. They are further classified by nose pigmentation (black or gray). The aim of this study was to identify loci involved in white patterning and nose pigmentation of North American yak. Genotyping by mass spectrometry of markers identified through Sanger and whole-genome sequencing revealed a 388 kb haplotype of KIT associated in a semi-dominant manner with white coloration in this population of yak. This KIT haplotype is similar to both a haplotype found in white-faced Chinese yak and to haplotypes found in cattle but is divergent from other Bos species such as bison, gaur, and banteng. Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R) was implicated as a dominant determinant of black nose color with a single haplotype containing 2 missense mutations perfectly associated with the phenotype. The MC1R haplotype associated with black nose pigment is also similar to cattle haplotypes. No cattle studied, however, shared either of the 2 haplotypes associated with color in yak, suggesting these alleles were introgressed into yak before they were imported to North America. These results provide molecular insight into the history of North American yak and information from which breeders can determine possible color outcomes of matings.
Project description:The rumen microbiota is strongly associated with host health, nutrient absorption, and adaptability. However, the composition, functioning and adaptability of rumen microbiota in Tibetan sheep (TS) across different phenological periods are unclear. In this study we used sequencing of the V4-V5 region of 16S rRNA, qPCR technology and metagenomics to investigate the adaption of rumen microbiota to forage in different stages of phenology. In a grassy period, due to the high nutritional quality of the forage, TS can produce high concentrations of NH3-N and short fatty acids by increasing the content of key bacteria in the rumen, such as Bacteroidetes, Prevotella, Succiniclasticum, Treponema, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Fibrobacter succinogenes, Prevotella ruminicola, Ruminococcus albus, and Ruminococcus flavefaciens to aid in growth. In the withering period, there was a positive correlation between microorganisms which indicated the closely cooperation between microorganisms, and metagenomic analysis showed that the high genes (GHs and CBMs) and subtribe (GH8, GH12, GH45, GH6, GH9, GH5, GH10, GH3, GH52, GH11, GH57, CBM1, CBM4, CBM6, CBM16, CBM37, CBM13, CBM35, CBM42, CBM32, and CBM62) that encode cellulolytic enzymes were significantly increased when the host faced low quantity and quality of forage. Genes involved in metabolic pathways, fatty acid biosynthesis and biosynthesis of antibiotics were significantly enriched, which indicated that rumen microbiota could improve plant biomass deconstruction and energy maintenance in the face of nutritional deficiencies. In the regreen period, both the composition and function of rumen microbiota had obvious disadvantages, therefore, to improve the competitiveness of microorganisms, we suggest TS should be supplemented with high-protein feed. This study is of great significance for exploring the high altitude adaptability of TS.