Molecular diversity of protozoa in rumen of Indian buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
The rumen protozoa can be assigned to three different groups; one consisting ofthe large protozoa of the genus Diplodinium and related types which ingest quantities offibrous plant material; a second group of smaller protozoa in the genus Entodinium which actively digest starch but seldom are found to contain the cell walls of plants; and a third group, the holotrichs, whichseldom containplantmaterials. This latter group includes the species I8otricha pro8toma, I. inte8tinaU8 and the smaller Da8ytricha ruminantium. Previous investigators (Heald, Oxford & Sugden, 1952; Heald & Oxford, 1953) gave small amounts of glucose to strained sheep-rumen contents placed in separatory funnels. Metabolizing the carbohydrate very rapidly, the three species of holotrichs settled to the bottom of the funnel and could be obtained free of the other ruimen protozoa. Heald & Oxford (1953) analysed the fermentation products of the mixed holotrich protozoa and found carbon dioxide, hydrogen, lactic, acetic and butyric acids, and a trace of propionic acid as the products of glucose fermentation. Cellobiose was utilized by the mixture but at a rate much slower than glucose. This paper deals with attempts to separate the three species of holotrichs, to determine their individual characteristics, and to estimate their significance to the host.