Fibrobacter succinogenes is one of the most pivotal fibrolytic bacterial species in the rumen. In a previous study, we confirmed enhancement of fiber digestion in a co-culture of F. succinogenes S85 with non-fibrolytic ruminal strains R-25 and/or Selenomonas ruminantium S137. In the present study, mRNA expression level of selected functional genes in the genome of F. succinogenes S85 was monitored by real-time RT-PCR. Growth profile of F. succinogenes S85 was similar in both the monoculture and co-cultures with non-fibrolytics. However, expression of 16S rRNA gene of F. succinogenes S85 in the co-culture was higher (P < 0.01) than that of the monoculture. This finding suggests that metabolic activity of F. succinogenes S85 was enhanced by coexistence with strains R-25 and/or S. ruminantium S137. The mRNA expression of fumarate reductase and glycoside hydrolase genes was up-regulated (P < 0.01) when F. succinogenes S85 was co-cultured with non-fibrolytics. These results indicate the enhancement of succinate production and fiber hydrolysis byF. succinogenes S85 in co-cultures of S. ruminantium and R-25 strains.
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