Exploiting Gastrointestinal Microbes for Livestock and Industrial Development - Review -

  • Singh, Birbal (Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Bhat, Tej K. (Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Singh, Bhupinder (Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Published : 2001.04.01


Gastrointestinal tract of ruminants as well as monogastric animals are colonised by a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Gastrointestinal ecosystem, especially the rumen is emerging as an important source for enrichment and natural selection of microbes adapted to specific conditions. It represents a virtually untapped source of novel products (e.g. enzymes, antibiotics, bacteriocins, detoxificants and aromatic compounds) for industrial and therapeutic applications. Several gastrointestinal bacteria and fungi implicated in detoxification of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) can be modified and manipulated into promising system for detoxifying feed stuffs and enhancing fibre fermentation both naturally by adaptation or through genetic engineering techniques. Intestinal lactobacilli, bifidobacteria and butyrivibrios are being thoroughly investigated and widely recommended as probiotics. Restriction endonucleases and native plasmids, as stable vectors and efficient DNA delivery systems of ruminal and intestinal bacteria, are increasingly recognised as promising tools for genetic manipulation and development of industrially useful recombinant microbes. Enzymes can improve the nutrient availability from feed stuffs, lower feed costs and reduce release of wastes into the environment. Characterization of genes encoding a variety of commercially important enzymes such as cellulases, xylanases, $\beta$-glucanases, pectinases, amylases and phytases will foster the development of more efficacious and viable enzyme supplements and enzyme expression systems for enhancing livestock production.

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