Microbial Ecology

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 840–849 | Cite as

Probiotic Dosing of Ruminococcus flavefaciens Affects Rumen Microbiome Structure and Function in Reindeer

  • Kirsti E. Præsteng
  • Phillip B. Pope
  • Isaac K. O. Cann
  • Roderick I. Mackie
  • Svein D. Mathiesen
  • Lars P. Folkow
  • Vincent G. H. Eijsink
  • Monica A. SundsetEmail author
Environmental Microbiology


Highly cellulolytic bacterial species such as Ruminococcus flavefaciens are regarded essential for the microbial breakdown of cellulose in the rumen. We have investigated the effect of ruminal dosing of R. flavefaciens strain 8/94-32 during realimentation of starved reindeer (males, n = 3). Microbiome function measured as in situ digestion of cellulose and food pellets (percent DMD; dry matter disappearance) decreased after probiotic dosing. Microbial community analyses (>100,000 16S rDNA gene sequences for 27 samples) demonstrated that ruminal dosing influenced the microbiome structure; reflected by increased phylogenetic distances from background samples (unweighted UniFrac analysis) and reduced species diversity and evenness. Despite the inability to detect strain 8/94-32 post-dosing, the relative abundance of its affiliate family Ruminococcaceae remained consistent throughout the trial, whilst a dominant peak in the genus Prevotella and decline in uncharacterized Bacteroidetes (uBacNR) were observed in treatment samples. No clear relationships were observed between the relative abundance of Ruminococcaceae, Prevotella and uBacNR with cellulose DMD; however, Prevotella (negative) and uBacNR (positive) exhibited relationships with pellet DMD. These unexpected effects of ruminal dosing of a cellulolytic bacterium on digestibility are relevant for other studies on rumen manipulation.


Bacteroidetes Rumen Content Fibre Digestion Biogas Reactor Rumen Sampling 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Prof. Arnoldus Schytte Blix for help with the rumen fistulation of the animals, Hans Edvin Lian for all help with animals, Alexandra Heuer for help with sampling during animal experiments, and Prof. Michael Greenacre for help with DMD statistics. This study is linked to the framework of the International Polar Year (IPY) as part of the consortium IPY # 399 EALAT: Climate change and reindeer husbandry. Funding was provided by the Reindeer Husbandry Research Fund, University of Tromsø, Roald Amundsen Centre for Arctic Research (University of Tromsø) and Centre for Sami Studies (University of Tromsø). PBP is supported by The Research Council of Norway’s FRIPRO program (214042) and the European Commission Marie Curie International Incoming Fellowship (PIIF-GA-2010-274303).

Supplementary material

248_2013_279_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (104 kb)
Table S1 454-pyrosequencing statistics (PDF 103 kb)
248_2013_279_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (45 kb)
Table S2 (PDF 45 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kirsti E. Præsteng
    • 1
  • Phillip B. Pope
    • 2
  • Isaac K. O. Cann
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  • Roderick I. Mackie
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
  • Svein D. Mathiesen
    • 7
  • Lars P. Folkow
    • 1
  • Vincent G. H. Eijsink
    • 2
  • Monica A. Sundset
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Arctic and Marine BiologyUniversity of TromsøTromsøNorway
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, Biotechnology and Food ScienceNorwegian University of Life SciencesÅsNorway
  3. 3.Department of Animal SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Genomic BiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  5. 5.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  6. 6.Division of Nutritional SciencesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbanaUSA
  7. 7.UArctic EALAT Institute at International Centre for Reindeer Husbandry and The Norwegian School of Veterinary ScienceTromsøNorway

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