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The Effect of Protozoa on the Bacterial Composition and Hydrolytic Activity of the Roe Deer Rumen

1
The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Polish Academy of Sciences, 05-110 Jabłonna, Poland
2
Robert Gordon University, School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Garthdee Campus. Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen AB10 7GJ, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(3), 467; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10030467
Received: 31 January 2020 / Revised: 5 March 2020 / Accepted: 6 March 2020 / Published: 11 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
Ruminants are herbivorous animals which obtain their energy and nutrients from plant material due to a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms. The main site of this interaction is the rumen, where the intensive digestion processing of plant material takes place. The bacteria, fungi and protozoa create a unique ecosystem—a complex consortium based on mutual interactions. Protozoa are an important component of the microbiome. They have a major impact on the rumen ecosystem as well as on the ruminant’s welfare. Most information on protozoal importance in the digestive processes was obtained from studies on domestic ruminants, with results from studies on wild ruminants being limited. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to compare any effects of the presence of protozoa in the rumen of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) on the bacterial composition and the digestion rate on the main carbohydrates of their forage. The results obtained from these pilot studies are presented as a short report investigating the relationship between these factors. The analysis of the bacterial composition indicated that the presence of protozoa did not have an effect on bacterial diversity, and furthermore, the protozoa had no effect on the digestion rate of carbohydrates in the rumen.
The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of the presence of protozoa in the rumen of wild roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) on the bacteria composition and digestion rate of the main carbohydrates of forage. The research material involved rumen content and rumen fluid, which were collected in the autumn-winter season, from eight adult males of roe deer with an average body mass of 22.6 kg. The microscopic analysis demonstrated that there were only protozoa in 50% of the animals sampled. Qualitative analysis revealed the presence of protozoa belonging to the genus Entodinium. The density of protozoal population varied from 6.5 to 38.7 × 105/mL rumen fluid. The analysis of bacteria composition indicated that protozoa did not have an effect on bacterial diversity. Furthermore, the results of hydrolytic activity revealed that the fastest digestion of carbohydrates was for pectin, while the slowest was inulin. The pH and redox potential in the rumen varied from 5.9 to 6.1 and from −248.1 to −251.1 mV, respectively. In summary, the presence of protozoa in the rumen of wild roe deer does not have an effect on the bacterial population and has no effect on the digestion rate of carbohydrates in the rumen. View Full-Text
Keywords: bacteria; digestion; protozoa; rumen; wild roe deer bacteria; digestion; protozoa; rumen; wild roe deer
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Miltko, R.; Kowalik, B.; Majewska, M.P.; Kędzierska, A.; McEwan, N.R.; Bełżecki, G. The Effect of Protozoa on the Bacterial Composition and Hydrolytic Activity of the Roe Deer Rumen. Animals 2020, 10, 467.

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