Exploring and understanding the phylogeny of the Butyrivibrio group is imperative if we are ever to fully understand the consortium of ruminal microbial enzymes that are responsible for the catalysis of multifaceted reactions, such as biohydrogenation. At present, taxonomic classification of the Butyrivibrio group is based primarily on butyrate production. This approach has become antiquated with the development of sequencing technologies and downstream bioinformatics analysis. This study investigated the taxonomic relatedness and functional capacity of the ruminal Butyrivibrio group using 72 genomes. Seventy-one Butyrivibrio group genomes were obtained via JGI (the Hungate 1000 project), and one additional bacterial strain was sequenced by ourselves. A 40 marker phylogenetic tree was constructed and visualised with the interactive Tree Of Life (iTOL), and pangenome analysis conducted using Spine/ClustAGE. Orthologous gene affiliations were identified using OrthAgogue, and glycosyl hydrolase families were identified using dbCAN then aligned with Clustal Omega. Data obtained showed that three primary clades were observed, namely the genus Pseudobutyrivibrio, B. fibrisolvens, and the remaining Butyrivibrio species. Pangenome analysis and orthologous gene affiliations revealed greater diversity within Butyrivibrio than Pseudobutyrivibrio. Butyrivibrio clades consistently showed smaller core genome sizes in comparison to Pseudobutyrivibrio, with core genome percentages as low as 4 %, indicating high levels of variance. Glycosyl hydrolase alignment shows extensive sequence dissimilarity between genes on a nucleotide and amino acid level These findings suggest that the Butyrivibrio group are highly evolved to maintain competitiveness in the rumen and emphasises the need for further research into the biochemical capacity of the Butyrivibrio group.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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