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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Effect of phenolic monomers on ruminal bacteria.

Ruminal bacteria were subjected to a series of phenolic compounds in various concentrations to acquire fundamental information on the influence on growth and the potential limits to forage utilization by phenolic monomers. Ruminococcus albus 7, Ruminococcus flavefaciens FD-1, Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens 49, and Lachnospira multiparus D-32 were tested against 1, 5, and 10 mM concentrations of sinapic acid, syringaldehyde, syringic acid, ferulic acid, vanillin, vanillic acid, p-coumaric acid, p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, p-hydroxybenzoic acid, and hydrocinnamic acid. Responses were variable and dependent on the phenolic compound and microbial species. Compounds especially toxic (i.e., resulting in poor growth, effect on several species, dose-related response) were p-coumaric acid and p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, and adaptation to the toxins did not occur after three 24-h periods. Syringic, p-hydroxybenzoic, and hydrocinnamic acids stimulated growth of all four species and also stimulated filter paper degradation by R. flavefaciens. None of the stimulatory compounds supported microbial growth in the absence of carbohydrates. In vitro dry matter digestibility of cellulose (Solka-Floc) was not stimulated by any of the phenolic compounds (10 mM), but the cinnamic acids and benzoic aldehydes (10 mM) reduced (P less than 0.05) digestion by the mixed population in ruminal fluid. Growth of R. flavefaciens in the presence of p-hydroxybenzoic acid (10 mM) or p-coumaric acid (5 mM) resulted in recognizable alterations in cell ultrastructure. Both phenolics caused a reduction in cell size (P less than 0.05), and p-coumaric acid caused a reduction in capsular size (P less than 0.05) and produced occasional pleomorphic cells.[1]


  1. Effect of phenolic monomers on ruminal bacteria. Borneman, W.S., Akin, D.E., VanEseltine, W.P. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (1986) [Pubmed]
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