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Keywords:

  • Methanogens;
  • Protozoal symbionts;
  • Rumen;
  • Diversity;
  • Phylogenetic analysis

Abstract

The diversity of methanogenic archaea associated with different species of ciliated protozoa in the rumen was analysed. Partial fragments of archaeal SSU rRNA genes were amplified from DNA isolated from single cells from the rumen protozoal species Metadinium medium, Entodinium furca, Ophryoscolex caudatus and Diplodinium dentatum. Sequence analysis of these fragments indicated that although all of the new isolates clustered with sequences previously described for methanogens, there was a difference in the relative distribution of sequences detected here as compared to that of previous work. In addition, many of the novel sequences, although clearly of archaeal origin have relatively low identity to the sequences in database which are most closely related to them.