To achieve these goals, an essential first step is the identification of rumen methanogens and characterization of their phylogeny. A number of studies using culture-independent methods such as 16S rRNA gene identification have revealed that a great diversity this website of methanogens populate the rumen, which vary depending on factors such as host
species and diet . It has also become apparent that the analysis of methanogen populations in traditional livestock species would greatly benefit from investigating methanogen communities in other herbivores [4–6]. Camelids represent an interesting group because they are evolutionarily distant from ruminants. They originated in North America approximately 40-45 million years ago (mya), where they diversified and remained confined until 3.5-6 mya, when representatives arrived in Asia and in South America . The natural geographical distribution of modern camelid species reflects this ancestral separation: the Dromedary resides in northern Africa and south-west Asia, the Bactrian camel is found in central Asia, whereas the llama and alpaca are located in South America. Alpaca populations are rapidly growing world-wide, because of the fine texture and quality of the wool fiber produced by this species. This economic pursuit has in turn sparked interest in its CHIR98014 biology, revealing that the alpaca is an adaptive
feeder, ranging PI-1840 from grasses and hay to shrubs and trees, that requires less energy and protein input for growth and maintenance than domesticated ruminants [8, 9]. In contrast to the four-chambered stomach of ruminants, camelids such as the alpaca possess a three-chambered stomach whose physiology has been actively investigated to determine its contribution to the higher production efficiency of these animals [10–16]. Because the alpaca is also very efficient at digesting plant cell wall material and produces less methane [8, 14], its gastrointestinal
Histone Methyltransferase inhibitor microbial community also likely contributes significantly to its digestive efficiency. In contrast to ruminants, gut microbiomes remain largely uncharacterized in alpacas, with limited reports on the diversity and density of protozoa [17, 18] or bacterial populations , and no published studies on methanogenic archaea populations. In this context, the increased efficiency of the alpaca combined with its low methane production makes it a very attractive host model to study methanogens. Based on the anatomy and physiology of the alpaca digestive system, we hypothesized that the composition and structure of its microbial populations may be different than in previously reported ruminant species. To test our hypothesis, we investigated the composition of methanogen populations in the forestomach of five alpacas by sequencing and analyzing the molecular diversity of methanogen 16S rRNA genes from individually constructed clone libraries.