Microbial Ecology

, Volume 66, Issue 4, pp 879–888 | Cite as

Differences in the Methanogen Population Exist in Sika Deer (Cervus nippon) Fed Different Diets in China

  • Zhi Peng Li
  • Han Lu Liu
  • Chun Ai Jin
  • Xue Zhe Cui
  • Yi Jing
  • Fu He Yang
  • Guang Yu Li
  • André-Denis G. Wright
Environmental Microbiology


Understanding the methanogen structure from sika deer (Cervus nippon) in China may be beneficial to methane mitigation. In the present preliminary study, we investigated the methanogen community in the rumen of domesticated sika deer fed either tannin-rich plants (oak leaf, OL group) or corn stalk (CS group) using 16S rRNA gene clone libraries. Overall, we obtained 197 clone sequences, revealing 146 unique phylotypes, which were assigned to 36 operational taxonomic units at the species level (98 % identity). Methanogens related to the genus Methanobrevibacter were the predominant phylotypes representing 83.9 % (OL library) and 85.9 % (CS library) of the clones. Methanobrevibacter millerae was the most abundant species in both libraries, but the proportion of M. millerae-related clones in the CS library was higher than in the OL library (69.5 and 51.4 %, respectively). Moreover, Methanobrevibacter wolinii-related clones (32.5 %) were predominant in the OL library. Methanobrevibacter smithii-related clones and Methanobrevibacter ruminantium-related clones accounted for 6.5 and 6.6 % in the CS library, respectively. However, these clones were absent from the OL library. The concentrations of butyrate and total short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) were significantly higher in the OL group, but the concentrations of acetate, propionate, and valerate and the acetate to propionate ratio in the OL group were not significantly different between the two groups. Tannin-rich plants may have affected the distribution of genus Methanobrevibacter phylotypes at the species level and the concentration and composition of SCFAs.


Condensed Tannin Sika Deer Corn Stalk Methanobrevibacter Methanobacteriales 
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.



Operational taxonomic units


Short-chain fatty acids


Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis


Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences



This work is supported by a Young Researcher funded project (201101086), Science and Technology Development project (20090238), a Leading Talent and Creative Team project (20121810), and Natural Science Foundation (20130101104JC), all from Jilin province. The Ministry of Agriculture Public Sector (Agriculture) Special Research Project (200903014) and Key Projects in the National Science & Technology Pillar Program (2011BAI03B02).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi Peng Li
    • 1
  • Han Lu Liu
    • 1
  • Chun Ai Jin
    • 1
  • Xue Zhe Cui
    • 1
  • Yi Jing
    • 1
  • Fu He Yang
    • 1
  • Guang Yu Li
    • 1
  • André-Denis G. Wright
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economical Animal Nutrition and Feed Science, Institute of Special Animal and Plant SciencesChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesJilinChina
  2. 2.Department of Animal ScienceUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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