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Article

The Milk Microbiota of the Spanish Churra Sheep Breed: New Insights into the Complexity of the Milk Microbiome of Dairy Species

1
Departamento de Producción Animal, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, Campus de Vegazana s/n, 24071 León, Spain
2
Biome Makers Inc., West Sacramento, CA 95605, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(9), 1463; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091463
Received: 14 July 2020 / Revised: 6 August 2020 / Accepted: 18 August 2020 / Published: 20 August 2020
In the last decade, the number of studies focused on the study of the microbiota of different tissues, organs, or physiological fluids has considerably increased. The milk of dairy species is an important and continuous source of commensal, mutualistic and potentially probiotic bacteria. Second-generation sequencing technologies have been applied to characterise the milk microbiota of dairy cows, whereas the study of the sheep milk microbiota is scarce. In the present study, we aimed to explore the bacterial diversity and composition of milk samples from the Churra sheep breed, a rustic autochthonous breed from the region of Castilla y León (Spain). Moreover, this study tries to clarify the complex bacterial composition of sheep milk comparing the results presented here with previous research on the milk microbiota of the Assaf sheep breed. This assessment has shown that the milk microbiota of ewes from one flock of the Assaf breed is more diverse than the milk microbiota reported here for two different flocks of Churra sheep. The study also provides a step into a better understanding of the link between the bacterial milk composition in these two sheep breeds and somatic cell count, an indicator trait of subclinical mastitis resistance in dairy sheep.
Milk from healthy animals has classically been considered a sterile fluid. With the development of massively parallel sequencing and its application to the study of the microbiome of different body fluids, milk microbiota has been documented in several animal species. In this study, the main objective of this work was to access bacterial profiles of healthy milk samples using the next-generation sequencing of amplicons from the 16S rRNA gene to characterise the milk microbiome of the Churra breed. A total of 212 samples were collected from two Churra dairy farms with a different management system. The core milk microbiota in Churra ewes includes lesser genera (only two taxa: Staphylococcus and Escherichia/Shigella) than studies reported in other dairy species or even in a previous study in Assaf sheep milk. We found that diversity values in the two flocks of Churra breed were lower than the diversity of the milk microbiota in Assaf. The non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination using Bray-Curtis distance separates samples based on their microbiota composition. The information reported here might be used to understand the complex issue of milk microbiota composition. View Full-Text
Keywords: Assaf; Churra; dairy sheep; milk microbiota; 16S rRNA gene sequencing Assaf; Churra; dairy sheep; milk microbiota; 16S rRNA gene sequencing
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MDPI and ACS Style

Esteban-Blanco, C.; Gutiérrez-Gil, B.; Marina, H.; Pelayo, R.; Suárez-Vega, A.; Acedo, A.; Arranz, J.-J. The Milk Microbiota of the Spanish Churra Sheep Breed: New Insights into the Complexity of the Milk Microbiome of Dairy Species. Animals 2020, 10, 1463. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091463

AMA Style

Esteban-Blanco C, Gutiérrez-Gil B, Marina H, Pelayo R, Suárez-Vega A, Acedo A, Arranz J-J. The Milk Microbiota of the Spanish Churra Sheep Breed: New Insights into the Complexity of the Milk Microbiome of Dairy Species. Animals. 2020; 10(9):1463. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091463

Chicago/Turabian Style

Esteban-Blanco, Cristina; Gutiérrez-Gil, Beatriz; Marina, Héctor; Pelayo, Rocío; Suárez-Vega, Aroa; Acedo, Alberto; Arranz, Juan-José. 2020. "The Milk Microbiota of the Spanish Churra Sheep Breed: New Insights into the Complexity of the Milk Microbiome of Dairy Species" Animals 10, no. 9: 1463. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10091463

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