A comparative genomics approach has been used to provide new insights into cellulose degradation by anaerobic fungi. This substantial piece of work has just been published in Nature Microbiology, further information can be found here: press release and paper.
A new anaerobic fungal genus – Pecoramyces – has just been described, and the corresponding paper can be found here.
The type strain, Pecoramyces ruminantium C1A (formerly known as Orpinomyces sp. C1A), has already had its genome and transcriptome sequenced.
Anaerobic fungi featured at both the rumen microbial genomics (RMG) workshop and the INRA-Rowett meeting last week in Clermont-Ferrand, France. At the RMG workshop, the importance of studying anaerobic fungi when characterising rumen microbiomes was highlighted – particularly due to their close association/interactions with methanogens. At the INRA-Rowett meeting a talk by Bob Forster (pictured in the photo) about his rumen metatranscriptomic work highlighted the central importance of anaerobic fungi in terms of ruminal fibre degradation. Certainly made a lot of people sit up and think! Well done Bob 🙂
Hope you all enjoyed the festive season – whatever way you spent/celebrated it. Wishing you all the best for 2016!!
Following the high level of interest and feedback generated by the Global Farm Platform position paper published as the Comment ‘Steps to Sustainable Livestock’ (Nature 507, 32-34, 2014), an International Conference on sustainable ruminant livestock production is planned to be held in Bristol 12-15 January 2016. For more details please see: http://www.globalfarmplatform.org/conference-intro/
Please check out our facebook page for a recent video that was shared there regarding rumen fistulation.
Rumen fistulation is a key methodological approach used to understand the role of anaerobic fungi (as well as other microorganisms) within the rumen. There are many different feelings about these kind of approaches, but I would just like to highlight the only other alternative way to obtain a representative rumen digesta sample is to euthanize an animal every time a sample is required. Therefore rumen fistulation is not only a key experimental tool (enabling repeated and/or temporal sampling of the rumen) but enables minimisation of the number of animals used in research without compromising the ability to deliver applied outcomes that have a real impact in terms of food security and environmental footprint.
At the recent ISAM-9 symposium there was much interest in anaerobic fungi across a range of applications from novel metabolite production, biogas production, methane mitigation and bio-remediation. There was also an informal network get together organised at the conference (big thank you Tony Callaghan!) where a variety of different anaerobic fungal interests and topics were discussed.
Colin Orpin loved Tony Callaghan’s figure as it showed both the basic morphology of a mature plant and the growth of the germinated zoospores that had invaded the plant tissue. It also nicely demonstrated both ‘ends’ of the vegetative stage of the growth cycle.
Tony’s winning image is now featured on our website 🙂
The network recently held a photo competition, which Colin Orpin kindly agreed to judge. Colin had 59 entries to choose from and paid particular attention to the quality of the image, its significance and originality.
I am delighted to announce that Tony Callaghan from Aberystwyth University was placed first (see new image on our website).
Yanfen Cheng of Nanjing Agricultural University and Sumit Singh Dagar of Agharkar Research Institute were placed second and third respectively (images to follow soon…)
Well done everyone!!