Variations in the 16S-23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer of fibrolytic butyrivibrio isolates from the reindeer rumen

Kirsti E. Præsteng, Roderick I. Mackie, Isaac K.O. Cann, Svein D. Mathiesen, Monica A. Sundset

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


Strains of Butyrivibrio are principal cellulytic bacteria in the rumen of the High Arctic Svalbard reindeer (Rangifer tarandus platyrhynchus). According to phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing, Butyrivibrio can be divided into three subgroups within the Clostridia class of the phylum Firmicutes, but the current phenotypic and genotypic differentiation within the family Lachnospiraceae is insufficient. This current study describes the sequence diversity of the 16S-23S rRNA intergenic transcribed spacer (ITS) region of Butyrivibrio isolates from reindeer. A total of 17 different ITS sequences with sizes between 449 and 784 nt were obtained. Genes encoding tRNA Ile and tRNA Ala were identified in four of the sequences. Phylogenetic neighbor-joining trees were constructed based on the ITS sequence and compared with a phylogenetic neighbor-joining tree based on 16S rRNA gene sequences previously obtained for the same isolates. These comparisons indicated a better differentiation between strains in the ITS sequence than the 16S rRNA gene based tree. Through this study, a better means for identifying and tracking fibrolytic and potentially probiotic Butyrivibrio strains in reindeer and other ruminants has been provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)617-622
Number of pages6
JournalCanadian journal of microbiology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • 16S-23S rRNA intergenic spacer
  • Fibrolytic bacteria
  • Probiotic
  • Ruminants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics


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