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Detoxification of fluoroacetate by naturally occurring rumen microorganisms

​Poisoning of cattle in northern Australia due to ingestion of plants containing fluoroacetate (FA) causes significant economic loss to producers. This project aimed to identify rumen bacteria capable of degrading FA and to determine whether rumen detoxification may be a viable strategy to protect animals from FA poisoning. We isolated two species of rumen bacteria (Cloacibacillus sp. and Pyramidobacter sp.) which degraded FA and showed their growth and ability to metabolize the toxin could be stimulated with a range of nutritional supplements (amino acids, citrate, sarcosine, and selenium) suitable for cattle. The genetic architecture that both these bacteria use to degrade FA is similar but unique and has never been described before in nature. A small survey of cattle in northern Australia showed that these bacteria were present in the rumen of most animals but at relatively low numbers (~105-106 per ml rumen fluid or 0.001% of the total bacterial population) and thus inoculation of animals with FA-degrading isolates would not be required. Future research needs to demonstrate that provision of nutritional supplements in cattle will stimulate these indigenous rumen bacteria to degrade FA and prevent poisoning.he


Title Size Date published
4.7MB 31/05/2018


Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
Detoxification of fluoroacetate by naturally occurring rumen microorganisms
30/05/2014 30/06/2018

This page was last updated on 09/07/2018