International Conference on Sustainable Ruminant Livestock Production

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/

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Rumen fistulation : a valuable tool for exploring the role of rumen microbes

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.

ISAM-9 & Anaerobic fungi :)

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.

Photo competition winner: image details

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 🙂

Photo competition results!!

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!!

Colin Orpin

I had a lovely conversation with Colin Orpin the other evening – he was delighted to hear about our network and that anaerobic fungal research is still alive and kicking!
For those of you not familiar with the name, Colin Orpin is the researcher who conducted much of the ground breaking work in the 1960s/70s which led to the acceptance of the existence of anaerobic fungi despite the widely accepted dogma of the time that fungi needed oxygen.