Microbial Diversity and Organic Acid Production of Guinea Pig Faecal Samples

Susakul Palakawong Na Ayudthaya*, Hans van der Oost, John van der Oost, Daan M. van Vliet, Caroline M. Plugge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) or cavy is a grass-eating rodent. Its main diet consists of grass or hay, which comprises cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin and their derivatives. Here, the microbial diversity of faecal samples of two guinea pigs and microbial enrichments made with substrates, including starch waste and dried grass, were investigated along with organic acid production profiles. The microbial communities of the faecal samples were dominated by the phyla Bacteroidetes (40%) and Firmicutes (36%). Bacteroidales S24-7 (11% in Cavy 1 and 21% in Cavy 2) was the most abundant order. At genus level, many microorganisms remained unclassified. Different carbon sources were used for organic acid production in faecal enrichments. The dominant bacterial groups in the secondary enrichments with dried grass, starch waste and xylose were closely related to Prevotella and Blautia. Acetate was the predominant organic acid from all enrichments. The organic acid production profiles corresponded to a mixed acid fermentation but differed depending on the substrate. Eight phylogenetically different isolates were obtained, including a novel Streptococcus species, strain Cavy grass 6. This strain had a low abundance (1%) in one of the faecal samples but was enriched in the dried grass enrichment (3%). Cavy grass 6, a fast-growing heterolactic bacterium, ferments cellobiose to lactate, acetate, formate and ethanol. Our results show that cavy faecal samples can be applied as microbial source for organic acid production from complex organic substrates. The cavy gut contains many as-yet-uncultivated bacteria which may be appropriate targets for future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-434
JournalCurrent Microbiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Microbial Diversity and Organic Acid Production of Guinea Pig Faecal Samples'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this