Wetzels, SU; Eger, M; Burmester, M; Kreienbrock, L; Abdulmawjood, A; Pinior, B; Wagner, M; Breves, G; Mann, E
The application of rumen simulation technique (RUSITEC) for studying dynamics of the bacterial community and metabolome in rumen fluid and the effects of a challenge with Clostridium perfringens.
The rumen simulation technique (RUSITEC) is a well-established semicontinuous in vitro model for investigating ruminal fermentation; however, information on the stability of the ruminal bacterial microbiota and metabolome in the RUSITEC system is rarely available. The availability of high resolution methods, such as high-throughput sequencing and metabolomics improve our knowledge about the rumen microbial ecosystem and its fermentation processes. Thus, we used Illumina MiSeq 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and a combination of direct injection mass spectrometry with a reverse-phase LC-MS/MS to evaluate the dynamics of the bacterial community and the concentration of several metabolites in a RUSITEC experiment as a function of time and in response to a challenge with a pathogenic Clostridium perfringens (C. perfringens) strain. After four days of equilibration, samples were collected on days 5, 6, 7, 10, 12 and 15 of the steady-state and experimental period. From a total of six fermenters, three non-infected fermenters were used for investigating time-dependent alterations; three fermenters were incubated with C. perfringens and compared with the non-infected vessels at days 10, 12 and 15. Along the time-line, there was no statistically significant change of the overall bacterial community, however, some phylotypes were enriched at certain time points. A decrease in Fibrobacter and Elusimicrobia over time was followed by an increase in Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In contrast, classical fermentation measurements such as pH, redox potential, NH3-N, short chain fatty acids and the concentrations of metabolites determined by metabolomics (biogenic amines, hexoses and amino acids) remained stable throughout the experiment. In response to C. perfringens addition the concentrations of several amino acids increased. Although the overall bacterial community was not altered here either, some minor changes such as an enrichment of Synergistetes and Bacteroidetes were detectable over time. In conclusion, both, the bacterial community composition and the metabolome in the RUSITEC system were relatively stable during the experiment.