Holistic Assessment of Rumen Microbiome Dynamics through Quantitative Metatranscriptomics Reveals Multifunctional Redundancy during Key Steps of Anaerobic Feed Degradation
AuthorSöllinger, Andrea; Tveit, Alexander Tøsdal; Poulsen, Morten; Noel, Samantha Joan; Bengtsson, Mia M. B.; Bernhardt, Jörg; Hellwing, Anne L. Frydendahl; Lund, Peter; Riedel, Katharina; Schleper, Christa; Ole, Højberg; Urich, Tim
Importance: Ruminant animals, such as cows, live in a tight symbiotic association with microorganisms, allowing them to feed on otherwise indigestible plant biomass as food sources. Methane is produced as an end product of the anaerobic feed degradation in ruminants and is emitted to the atmosphere, making ruminant animals among the major anthropogenic sources of the potent greenhouse gas methane. Using newly developed quantitative metatranscriptomics for holistic microbiome analysis, we here identified bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic key players and the short-term dynamics of the rumen microbiome during anaerobic plant biomass degradation and subsequent methane emissions. These novel insights might pave the way for novel ecologically and economically sustainable methane mitigation strategies, much needed in times of global climate change.