A metagenomics investigation of carbohydrate-active enzymes along the goat and camel intestinal tract
Studies of the digestive microbiota of ruminant animals most often focus on the bacterial diversity in the rumen or the feces of the animals, but little is known about the diversity and functions of their distal intestine. Here, the bacterial microbiota of the distal intestinal tract of two goats and two camels was investigated by metagenomics techniques. The bacterial taxonomic diversity and carbohydrate-active enzyme profile were estimated for samples taken from the small intestine, the large intestine, and the rectum of each animal. The bacterial diversity and abundance in the small intestine were lower than in the rectal and large intestinal samples. Analysis of the carbohydrate-active enzyme profiles at each site revealed a comparatively low abundance of enzymes targeting xylan and cellulose in all animals examined, similar to what has been reported earlier for sheep and therefore suggesting that plant cell wall digestion probably takes place elsewhere, such as in the rumen.
KeywordsRuminant animals Intestine Microbial diversity Carbohydrate-active enzymes
This project was funded by the Deanship of Scientific Research at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, under grant no. 67/130/35-HiCi.
Compliance with ethical standards
The Ethics Committee of King Abdulaziz University for Experimental Animals and Humans has given its consent to conduct our experiments. The animal samples were taken from the Jeddah Municipality Slaughterhouses, which deploy well-qualified veterinarians who supervised our sample isolation.
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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