To investigate the ecological mechanisms governing the community structure of the gut microbial ecosystem, we have attempted to simulate the rat gut ecosystem using a two-stage continuous culture. Extensive sampling of the rat hindgut has established a set of criteria with which the system may be compared. This paper discusses one of the criteria, the community composition and structure and The experiments indicated that a gut microbial ecosystem could be satisfactorily mimicked This was achieved using a two-stage continuous culture employing differential selection of species between the two stages on the basis of pH differences combined with cell recycling between stages.


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