Characterization of rumen microbiome and metabolome from oro-esophageal tubing and rumen cannula in Holstein dairy cows

Lais L. da Cunha, Hugo F. Monteiro, Caio C. Figueiredo, Igor F. Canisso, Rodrigo C. Bicalho, Felipe C. Cardoso, Bart C. Weimer, Fabio S. Lima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Less invasive rumen sampling methods, such as oro-esophageal tubing, became widely popular for exploring the rumen microbiome and metabolome. However, it remains unclear if such methods represent well the rumen contents from the rumen cannula technique. Herein, we characterized the microbiome and metabolome in the rumen content collected by an oro-esophageal tube and by rumen cannula in ten multiparous lactating Holstein cows. The 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq platform. Untargeted metabolome was characterized using gas chromatography of a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Proteobacteria were the top three most abundant phyla representing ~ 90% of all samples. Although the pH of oro-esophageal samples was greater than rumen cannula, we found no difference in alpha and beta-diversity among their microbiomes. The overall metabolome of oro-esophageal samples was slightly different from rumen cannula samples yet more closely related to the rumen cannula content as a whole, including its fluid and particulate fractions. Enrichment pathway analysis revealed a few differences between sampling methods, such as when evaluating unsaturated fatty acid pathways in the rumen. The results of the current study suggest that oro-esophageal sampling can be a proxy to screen the 16S rRNA rumen microbiome compared to the rumen cannula technique. The variation introduced by the 16S rRNA methodology may be mitigated by oro-esophageal sampling and the possibility of increasing experimental units for a more consistent representation of the overall microbial population. Studies should consider an under or over-representation of metabolites and specific metabolic pathways depending on the sampling method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5854
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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