The planktonic core microbiome and core functions in the cattle rumen by next generation sequencing

Roland Wirth, Gyula Kádár, Balázs Kakuk, Gergely Maróti, Zoltán Bagi, Árpád Szilágyi, Gábor Rákhely, József Horváth, Kornél L. Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The cow rumen harbors a great variety of diverse microbes, which form a complex, organized community. Understanding the behavior of this multifarious network is crucial in improving ruminant nutrient use efficiency. The aim of this study was to expand our knowledge by examining 10 Holstein dairy cow rumen fluid fraction whole metagenome and transcriptome datasets. DNA and mRNA sequence data, generated by Ion Torrent, was subjected to quality control and filtering before analysis for core elements. The taxonomic core microbiome consisted of 48 genera belonging to Bacteria (47) and Archaea (1). The genus Prevotella predominated the planktonic core community. Core functional groups were identified using co-occurrence analysis and resulted in 587 genes, from which 62 could be assigned to metabolic functions. Although this was a minimal functional core, it revealed key enzymes participating in various metabolic processes. A diverse and rich collection of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and other functions were identified. Transcripts coding for enzymes active in methanogenesis made up 1% of the core functions. The genera associated with the core enzyme functions were also identified. Linking genera to functions showed that the main metabolic pathways are primarily provided by Bacteria and several genera may serve as a "back-up" team for the central functions. The key actors in most essential metabolic routes belong to the genus Prevotella. Confirming earlier studies, the genus Methanobrevibacter carries out the overwhelming majority of rumen methanogenesis and therefore methane emission mitigation seems conceivable via targeting the hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2285
JournalFrontiers in Microbiology
Issue numberSEP
Publication statusPublished - Sep 24 2018


  • Core functions
  • Core microbiome
  • Functions
  • Metabolic pathways
  • Rumen
  • Taxa
  • Whole genome
  • Whole transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

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