Application of Molecular Biology to Rumen Microbes -Review-

  • Kobayashi, Y. (Faculty of Bioresources, Mie University) ;
  • Onodera, R. (Faculty of Agrieulture, Miyazaki University)
  • Published : 1999.01.01


Molecular biological techniques that recently developed, have made it possible to realize some of new attempts in the research field of rumen microbiology. Those are 1) cloning of genes from rumen microorganisms mainly in E. coli, 2) transformation of rumen bacteria and 3) ecological analysis with nonculturing methods. Most of the cloned genes are for polysaccharidase enzymes such as endoglucanase, xylanase, amylase, chitinase and others, and the cloning rendered gene structural analyses by sequencing and also characterization of the translated products through easier purification. Electrotransformation of Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and Prevotella ruminicola have been made toward the direction for obtaining more fibrolytic, acid-tolerant, depoisoning or essential amino acids-producing rumen bacterium. These primarily required stable and efficient gene transfer systems. Some vectors, constructed from native plasmids of rumen bacteria, are now available for successful gene introduction and expression in those rumen bacterial species. Probing and PCR-based methodologies have also been developed for detecting specific bacterial species and even strains. These are much due to accumulation of rRNA gene sequences of rumen microbes in databases. Although optimized analytical conditions are essential to reliable and reproducible estimation of the targeted microbes, the methods permit long term storage of frozen samples, providing us ease in analytical work as compared with a traditional method based on culturing. Moreover, the methods seem to be promissing for obtaining taxonomic and evolutionary information on all the rumen microbes, whether they are culturable or not.


Rumen Micorbes;Genetic Engineering;Ecology;Enzymes;Review

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