In New Zealand, researchers from 14 research organizations across nine countries collaborated to generate a reference catalogue of 501 rumen microbial genomes. The reference set of genome sequences of microbes found in the stomachs of sheep and cattle is part of a project called Hungate1000. Before Hungate1000, just 15 rumen microbial genomes were available to the scientific community.
Dr Kelly says the project gives a new understanding of what exactly is taking place inside a rumen. “Hungate1000 means we can now start to reveal the intricacies of how the rumen microbial community functions, and provides a roadmap for where to take the science next,” Kelly said in their news release. “This data can be translated into interventions that are useful, such as identifying targets for vaccines and inhibitors to reduce methane emissions and improve productivity, among other things.”