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The effect of protozoa on the bacterial composition and hydrolytic activity of the roe deer rumen.

Miltko, Renata; Kowalik, Barbara; Majewska, Małgorzata P.; Kędzierska, Aneta; McEwan, Neil R.; Bełżecki, Grzegorz


Renata Miltko

Barbara Kowalik

Małgorzata P. Majewska

Aneta Kędzierska

Neil R. McEwan

Grzegorz Bełżecki


Ruminants are herbivorous animals which obtain their energy and nutrients from plant material due to a symbiotic relationship with microorganisms. The main site of this interaction is the rumen, where the intensive digestion processing of plant material takes place. The bacteria, fungi and protozoa create a unique ecosystem — a complex consortium based on mutual interactions. Protozoa are an important component of the microbiome. They have a major impact on the rumen ecosystem as well as on the ruminant’s welfare. Most information on protozoal importance in the digestive processes was obtained from studies on domestic ruminants, with results from studies on wild ruminants being limited. Therefore, the purpose of our study was to compare any effects of the presence of protozoa in the rumen of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) on the bacterial composition and the digestion rate on the main carbohydrates of their forage. The results obtained from these pilot studies are presented as a short report investigating the relationship between these factors. The analysis of the bacterial composition indicated that the presence of protozoa did not have an effect on bacterial diversity, and furthermore, the protozoa had no effect on the digestion rate of carbohydrates in the rumen.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Mar 31, 2020
Journal Animals
Electronic ISSN 2076-2615
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 3
Article Number 467
Institution Citation MILTKO, R., KOWALIK, B., MAJEWSKA, M.P., KĘDZIERSKA, A., MCEWAN, N.R. and BEŁŻECKI, G. 2020. The effect of protozoa on the bacterial composition and hydrolytic activity of the roe deer rumen. Animals [online], 10(3), article ID 467. Available from:
Keywords Bacteria; Digestion; Protozoa; Rumen; Wild roe deer


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