Characterization of the dynamics of initial bacterial colonization of nonconserved forage in the bovine rumen

Joan Elizabeth Edwards, Sharon A Huws, Eun Joong Kim, Alison H Kingston-Smith

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71 Citations (Scopus)


Microbial colonization is central to ruminal degradation of dietary material yet little is known about the dynamics of this process. The aim of this study was to characterize the initial stages of bacterial colonization of forage, and to assess the impact that different postsample processing and analysis methods had on the results obtained. Bacterial 16S rRNA gene-based analysis of damaged, nonconserved perennial ryegrass, incubated in sacco in the bovine rumen, required the development and validation of new quantitative PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) primers. Analysis with previously available primer sets was compromised due to dominant amplification of forage-derived chloroplast 16S rRNA genes. DGGE analysis of incubated samples demonstrated that a diverse and consistent population of ruminal bacteria colonized rapidly. Postsampling methodologies did not affect overall population profiles whereas the washing method appeared to influence bacterial numbers. However, regardless of processing methodology, bacterial numbers increased rapidly within 5 min, stabilizing after 15 min of incubation. These findings reveal for the first time the dynamics of bacterial colonization of forage within the rumen.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-35
Number of pages13
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007


  • Animals
  • Bacteria
  • Cattle
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • DNA, Ribosomal
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Genes, rRNA
  • Lolium
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Plastids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S
  • Rumen
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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