Title: Rumen bacterial diversity of Tibetan sheep (Ovis aries) associated with different forage types on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau
Authors: Xiongxiong Cui, Zhaofeng Wang, Tianhai Yan, Shenghua Chang, Hong Wang, Fujiang Hou*
Journal: Canadian Journal of Microbiology（生物学4区, IF2018= 1.55）
Abstract: Diet is the great determinant of bacterial composition in the rumen. However, little is known about the rumen bacterial community of Tibetan sheep living in the special ecological environment of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) of China. In the present study, we investigated the rumen bacterial community of Tibetan sheep associated with two primary diets sheep, alpine pasture diet (a continuation of the sheep’s natural grazing diet) and oat hay (Avena sativa) diet on the QTP, using the high-throughput sequenc4*+54687/ing (HTS) technique. The results showed that bacterial community richness and species diversity of the oat hay diet group were significantly greater than of the native pasture diet group (p < 0.05). Principal co-ordinate analysis (PCoA) and analysis of similarities (ANOSIM) revealed that the bacterial community of the oat hay diet group was distinctly different from that of the native pasture diet group (p < 0.05). Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes were the most predominant microbial phyla in the rumen. The rumen of oat hay fed sheep showed higher proportions of Proteobacteria and novel bacteria species, compared to the native pasture fed sheep. Actinobacteria, an uncommon bacterial phylum, occurred only in the oat hay fed group. At the genus level, Komagataeibacter, Ruminococcaceae_UCG-014 and Ruminococcaceae_NK4A214_groups showed significantly higher relative abundance in the oat hay fed sheep than in the native pasture fed sheep (p < 0.05). This study is the first on the QTP employing HTS to examine the influence of diet on the rumen microbiome of Tibetan sheep.