AIMS: This work was carried out to develop a rapid molecular profiling technique to screen ciliate populations in the rumen of sheep.
METHODS AND RESULTS: DGGE was used to study the ciliate diversity in the rumen of sheep. There was considerable variation between sheep which were co-housed, and fed the same diet. However, no difference in the major banding patterns was detected, when samples were collected from a single sheep sampled at different points. Following dietary changes, use of a pair-wise comparison of lanes, demonstrated that although there was still diversity between the ciliate population of sheep, the effects as a result of dietary changes were greater.
CONCLUSIONS: The technique generated molecular profiles which are sufficiently different to allow comparison between samples, and to permit molecular ecological studies on the rumen ciliate population.
SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: The outcome of this study means that ciliate diversity in the rumen may now be studied by those unfamiliar with morphological identification of these organisms.
- Animal Feed
- DNA Fingerprinting/methods
- DNA, Ribosomal/analysis
- Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
- Nucleic Acid Denaturation/genetics
- Polymerase Chain Reaction
- RNA, Ribosomal, 18S/genetics