top of page
Image by Leopold Maitre

Exploring the HoloRuminant Microbiome

November 11, 2022

HoloRuminant is a global initiative aiming to elucidate the role of ruminant-associated microbiomes and their interplay with the host animal in early life and throughout fundamental life events that are known to affect health, welfare and environmental efficiency in ruminant production systems. The results will hopefully one day help produce and raise livestock more efficiently and sustainably, as well as being better for the animals and the environment.


Edinburgh Genetics contributes to this project by employing advanced NGS technologies, including amplicon sequencing and metagenomics, to allow researchers to profile the ruminant microbiome with unprecedented detail and accuracy. 


Utilising both standard and custom primers, we target specific genetic markers within the microbiome, such as the 16S rRNA gene. This approach enables the precise identification and quantification of microbial taxa within the ruminant gut. By comparing data across different ruminant species, diets, and management practices, researchers can identify core and peripheral microbiota and their associations with health and productivity outcomes.


Beyond taxonomic profiling, our metagenomics sequencing provides a comprehensive overview of the genetic potential of the ruminant microbiome. This data allows for the identification of genes and pathways involved in nutrient metabolism, resistance to antibiotics, and other functional traits. By analysing metagenomics data, researchers can uncover novel microbial genes and enzymes that contribute to feed efficiency, methane emission reduction, and overall animal health.


Diet Optimisation

Identifying microbial taxa and functions associated with improved feed efficiency and nutrient synthesis can lead to the development of optimised diets that enhance growth rates and reduce feed costs.


Health and Disease Management

Understanding the relationships between microbiome composition, immune function, and disease resistance can inform probiotic and therapeutic interventions, improving animal health and reducing reliance on antibiotics.

Environmental Sustainability
Insights into microbial contributions to methane production can guide strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, contributing to more sustainable agricultural practices.



Read more about HoloRuminant

bottom of page