Co-abundance analysis reveals hidden players associated with high methane yield phenotype in sheep rumen microbiome

Leila Ghanbari Maman, Fahimeh Palizban, Fereshteh Fallah Atanaki, Naser Elmi Ghiasi, Shohreh Ariaeenejad, Mohammad Reza Ghaffari, Ghasem Hosseini Salekdeh, Kaveh Kavousi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Rumen microbial environment hosts a variety of microorganisms that interact with each other to carry out the feed digestion and generation of several by-products especially methane, which plays an essential role in global warming as a greenhouse gas. However, due to its multi-factorial nature, the exact cause of methane production in the rumen has not yet been fully determined. The current study is an attempt to use system modeling to analyze the relationship between interacting components of rumen microbiome and its role in methane production. Metagenomic data of sheep rumen, with equal numbers of high methane yield (HMY) and low methane yield (LMY) samples, were used. As a well-known approach for the systematic comparative study of complex traits, the co-abundance networks were constructed in both operational taxonomic unit (OTU) and gene levels. A gene-catalog of 1,444 different rumen microbial strains was developed as a reference to measure gene abundances. The results from both types of co-abundance networks showed that methanogens, which are the main ruminal source for methanogenesis, need other microbial species to accomplish the task of methane production through producing the main precursor molecules like H2 and acetate for methanogenesis pathway as their byproducts. KEGG Orthology(KO) analysis of the current study shows that the metabolism and growth rate of methanogens will be increased due to the higher rate of the metabolism and carbohydrate/fiber digestion pathways in the hidden elements. This finding proposes that any ruminant methane yield alteration strategy should consider complex interactions of rumen microbiome components as one tightly integrated unit rather than several separate parts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4995
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

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