Antonie van Leeuwenhoek

, Volume 91, Issue 4, pp 417–422

Relation between phylogenetic position, lipid metabolism and butyrate production by different Butyrivibrio-like bacteria from the rumen


  • Delphine Paillard
    • Rowett Research Institute
  • Nest McKain
    • Rowett Research Institute
  • Lal C. Chaudhary
    • Rowett Research Institute
    • Centre of Advanced Studies in Animal NutritionIndian Veterinary Research Institute
  • Nicola D. Walker
    • Rowett Research Institute
    • Unité de Microbiologie INRA de Clermont-Ferrand-Theix
  • Florian Pizette
    • Rowett Research Institute
  • Ingrid Koppova
    • Institute of Animal Physiology & Genetics
  • Neil R. McEwan
    • Rowett Research Institute
    • Institute of Rural ScienceUniversity of Wales
  • Jan Kopečný
    • Institute of Animal Physiology & Genetics
  • Philip E. Vercoe
    • Animal Science GroupUniversity of Western Australia
  • Petra Louis
    • Rowett Research Institute
    • Rowett Research Institute
Short Communication

DOI: 10.1007/s10482-006-9121-7

Cite this article as:
Paillard, D., McKain, N., Chaudhary, L.C. et al. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (2007) 91: 417. doi:10.1007/s10482-006-9121-7


The Butyrivibrio group comprises Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and related Gram-positive bacteria isolated mainly from the rumen of cattle and sheep. The aim of this study was to investigate phenotypic characteristics that discriminate between different phylotypes. The phylogenetic position, derived from 16S rDNA sequence data, of 45 isolates from different species and different countries was compared with their fermentation products, mechanism of butyrate formation, lipid metabolism and sensitivity to growth inhibition by linoleic acid (LA). Three clear sub-groups were evident, both phylogenetically and metabolically. Group VA1 typified most Butyrivibrio and Pseudobutyrivibrio isolates, while Groups VA2 and SA comprised Butyrivibrio hungatei and Clostridium proteoclasticum, respectively. All produced butyrate but strains of group VA1 had a butyrate kinase activity <40 U (mg protein)−1, while strains in groups VA2 and SA all exhibited activities >600 U (mg protein)−1. The butyrate kinase gene was present in all VA2 and SA bacteria tested but not in strains of group VA1, all of which were positive for the butyryl-CoA CoA-transferase gene. None of the bacteria tested possessed both genes. Lipase activity, measured by tributyrin hydrolysis, was high in group VA2 and SA strains and low in Group VA1 strains. Only the SA group formed stearic acid from LA. Linoleate isomerase activity, on the other hand, did not correspond with phylogenetic position. Group VA1 bacteria all grew in the presence of 200 μg LA ml−1, while members of Groups VA2 and SA were inhibited by lower concentrations, some as low as 5 μg ml−1. This information provides strong links between phenotypic and phylogenetic properties of this group of clostridial cluster XIVa Gram-positive bacteria.


BiohydrogenationLinoleic acidRumen



conjugated linoleic acid


linoleic acid

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006