Distinctive roles between rumen epimural and content bacterial communities on beef cattle feed efficiency: A combined analysis

Curr Res Microb Sci. 2021 Nov 28;2:100085. doi: 10.1016/j.crmicr.2021.100085. eCollection 2021 Dec.


Rumen content-associated (RC) and epithelial tissue-attached (RT) bacterial communities are composed of different phylotypes and play distinctive roles. This study aimed to compare the composition of the RT and RC bacterial communities of steers differing in feed efficiency. The microbiota of RT and RC samples collected from sixteen beef steers with high or low residual feed intake (RFI) were analyzed through sequencing of partial 16S rRNA gene amplicons. Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the predominant phyla and Prevotella was the most abundant genus in both RC and RT bacterial communities. In total, 19 OTUs of the RC samples and 19 OTUs of the RT samples were differentially abundant (DA) between H-RFI and l-RFI steers. Among them, a common DA OTU belonged to Prevotella genus was identified in both RC and RT samples, making it the potential key microbial marker for indicating feed efficiency of steers. The co-occurrence of the DA OTUs among RT and RC samples suggest the importance of these two communities function as a complete system in influencing host feed efficiency.

Keywords: Beef cattle; Feed efficiency; Rumen content-associated microbiota; Rumen epimural microbiota.