The Rumen Microbial Ecosystem--Some Recent Developments

Trends Microbiol. 1997 Dec;5(12):483-8. doi: 10.1016/S0966-842X(97)01159-1.


The rumen of sheep and cattle represents a mobile, self-sustaining fermentation system for plant material. Analysis of the rumen flora continues to provide fundamental knowledge of anaerobic microbiology and is now yielding microbial genes that have potential in biotechnology. Recent research has provided fascinating glimpses into the microbial enzyme systems that degrade plant material and into the complex interplay among members of the rumen community.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Cattle
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Ecosystem
  • Plant Cells
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Rumen / microbiology*
  • Toxins, Biological / metabolism


  • Proteins
  • Toxins, Biological