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!!

Anaerobic fungi are a valuable direct fed microbial for ruminants

Direct fed microbials (essentially similar to probiotics but the term is only used for “live, naturally occurring microbes”) are an approach to beneficially modify the gut ecosystem to optimise animal health and/or productivity. A recent review covers this topic from the perspective of ruminants, and highlights the significant value and future opportunities for anaerobic fungi as a live microbial feed supplement.

Hungate1000 Rumen Microbial Genomes Workshop

There will be a Hungate1000 rumen microbial genomes workshop taking place at the 2015 Congress on Gastrointestinal Function Conference, April 13-15, Chicago, USA.
The workshop will take place on the morning of April 13th 2015 and will be a great session where the progress on genome sequencing of the rumen microbiome will be presented as well hearing from several invited speakers who will be discussing strategies and applications for using this type of resource. More details can be found at:

Life through a lens – Buwchfawomyces eastonii

Click here to see a video clip of a Buwchfawomyces eastonii thallus attached to a particle of wheatstraw.

The wheat straw particle can be seen to be colonised by the extensive rhizoid which has a mature sporangium (round bulbous structure) emerging from it. The sporangium will eventually full up with zoospores and release them to colonise fresh plant material.

Thanks Tony Callaghan for providing us with this video clip!