Characterization of culturable anaerobic bacteria from the forestomach of an eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus

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AimTo determine the culturable biodiversity of anaerobic bacteria isolated from the forestomach contents of an eastern grey kangaroo, Macropus giganteus, using phenotypic characterization and 16S rDNA sequence analysis.Methods and ResultsBacteria from forestomach contents of an eastern grey kangaroo were isolated using anaerobic media containing milled curly Mitchell grass (Astrebla lappacea). DNA was extracted and the 16S rDNA sequenced for phylogenetic analysis. Forty bacterial isolates were obtained and placed in 17 groups based on phenotypic characteristics and restriction enzyme digestion of 16S rDNA PCR products. DNA sequencing revealed that the 17 groups comprised five known species (Clostridium butyricum, Streptococcus bovis, Clostridium sporogenes, Clostridium paraputrificum and Enterococcus avium) and 12 groups apparently representing new species, all within the phylum Firmicutes.ConclusionsForegut contents from Australian macropod marsupials contain a microbial ecosystem with a novel bacterial biodiversity comprising a high percentage of previously unrecognized species.Significance and Impact of the StudyThis study adds to knowledge of Australia's unique biodiversity, which may provide a future bioresource of genetic information and bacterial species of benefit to agriculture.

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