Rumen Microbes – Ruminococcus flavefaciens

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This month’s featured microbe is Ruminococcus flavefaciens. The ruminococci are an important group of bacteria inhabiting the rumen and are a major area of study.​​

Click the image hotspots to learn more about this featured microbe.

This interactive image was created by Brooke Clemmons

a cow and calf looking at the camera
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Image of Ruminococcus

​R. flavefaciens are round, anaerobic, Gram-negative bacteria that are found in the rumen of cattle and even the hindgut of other monogastric animals, such as horses and pigs. Image modified from and courtesy of Science Source.

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Image of cellulosome

R. flavefaciens secretes a multi-enzyme complex called a cellulosome, which breaks down the plant wall externally and guides products towards the cell for absorption. Stock Photo.​

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bacterial culture in a test tube

As most rumen bacteria are not culturable in the laboratory, R. flavefaciens are one of the minority that can be cultured in a lab. Image modified from Koyano et al., 2015.​

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a brown, black and white cow in a field

​R. flavefaciens are one of several microbes responsible for the breakdown of cellulose and hemicellulose in forages. Image courtesy of​​

Follow this link to view all of the interactive presentations for the Rumen Microbes series.