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The importance of methanogenic bacteria associated with ciliate protozoa was estimated either by removing protozoa from whole rumen fluid (using defaunated rumen fluid to correct for the effects of centrifugation on bacteria) or by isolating the protozoa. Rumen fluid was withdrawn from sheep inoculated with either Polyplastron multivesiculatum, a co-culture of Isotricha prostoma plus Entodinium spp. or a mixed type B fauna of Entodinium, Eudiplodinium and Epidinium spp. Methanogenesis was highest in rumen fluid containing a mixed protozoal population of the following genera: Entodinium, Eudiplodinium and Epidinium, was lower in defaunated rumen fluid and lowest in rumen fluid containing either I. prostoma plus Entodinium or P. multivesiculatum. Methanogenic bacteria associated with rumen ciliates were apparently responsible for between 9 and 25% of methanogenesis in rumen fluid.