Jun 1, 1976

Studies on the rumen flagellate Sphaeromonas communis

Journal of General Microbiology
C G Orpin


The rumen flagellate Sphaeromonas communis showed a significant increase in population density 1 to 2 h after the host sheep commenced feeding, followed by a reduction in numbers to the pre-feeding level after a further 2 to 3 h. The life-history of the organism was shown to consist of a motile flagellate which germinated to produce a vegetative stage comprising a limited rhizoidal system on which up to three reproductive bodies were borne together with (in vitro) other spherical bodies of unknown function; in vivo, the reproductive bodies were stimulated to liberate flagellates by a component of the diet of the host. The vegetative stage strongly resembled that of certain species of aquatic phycomycete fungi, and the flagellates may therefore by zoospores. Flagellates liberated in vivo lost their motility within 2 to 3 h and developed into the reproductive vegetative phase, producing a rapid decrease in numbers of flagellates. Conditions of maximum flagellate production (pH 6.5, 39 degrees C, presence of CO2, absnece of oxygen) approximated to those found in the rumen. The organism was cultured in vitro in an undefined medium in the absnece of bacteria and other flagellates.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Cell Motility
Reproduction Spores
Dall Sheep
Caecomyces communis
Sheep antigen

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