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Identification and characterisation of the predominant lactic acid-producing and lactic acid-utilising bacteria in the foregut of the feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) in Australia



Identification and characterisation of the predominant lactic acid-producing and lactic acid-utilising bacteria in the foregut of the feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) in Australia



Animal Production Science 51(7): 597-604



The camel is emerging as a new and important animal in the Australian livestock industry. However, little is known regarding the microbial ecosystem of the gastrointestinal tract of this ruminant-like animal. This study was carried out to determine the diversity of lactic acid-producing and lactic acid-utilising bacteria in the foregut of the feral camel (Camelus dromedarius) in Australia. Putative lactic acid bacteria were isolated from the foregut contents of camels by culturing on De Man, Rogosa, Sharpe and lactic acid media. Identification of representative isolates was based on the analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences. Fermentation end products of glucose (i.e. volatile fatty acids and lactate) were also measured in vitro. The key predominant bacteria identified in this study were closely related to Streptococcus bovis, Selenomonas ruminantium, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens, Lachnospira pectinoschiza and Prevotella ruminicola. The main L-lactate producers were those isolates closely related to S. bovis, S. ruminantium and Lactococcus garvieae, while the efficient lactate utilisers were S. ruminantium-related isolates. D-lactate was produced by isolates closely related to either L. pectinoschiza or S. ruminantium. The predominant bacteria isolated and characterised in this study are identical and/or closely related to those typically found in true ruminants (e. g. S. ruminantium, B. fibrisolvens, S. bovis). In addition, some of the bacteria isolated represent novel species of Lachnospira and Clostridium in the context of lactic acid bacteria from a large herbivorous host. The results from this study have contributed to our understanding and provide opportunities to reduce foregut acidosis in the camel.

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Accession: 066246033

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DOI: 10.1071/AN10197


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