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ARS Home » Plains Area » Clay Center, Nebraska » U.S. Meat Animal Research Center » Genetics and Animal Breeding » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340723

Research Project: Genomic and Metagenomic Approaches to Enhance Efficient and Sustainable Production of Beef Cattle

Location: Genetics and Animal Breeding

Title: Vaginal and uterine bacterial communities in postpartum lactating cows

item CLEMMONS, BROOKE - University Of Tennessee
item DANTAS, FELIPE - University Of Tennessee
item FRANCO, GESSICA - University Of Tennessee
item REESE, SYDNEY - University Of Tennessee
item ADEYOSOYE, OLUSOJI - Obafemi Awolowo University
item Smith, Timothy - Tim
item MYER, PHILLIP - University Of Tennessee
item POHLER, KY - University Of Tennessee

Submitted to: Journal of Animal Science Supplement
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/21/2016
Publication Date: 3/31/2017
Citation: Clemmons, B.A., Dantas, F.G., Franco, G.A., Reese, S.T., Adeyosoye, O.I., Smith, T.P., Myer, P.R., Pohler, K.G. 2017. Vaginal and uterine bacterial communities in postpartum lactating cows [abstract]. Journal of Animal Science. 95(Suppl. 2):112. doi:10.2527/asasmw.2017.112.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The vaginal and uterine microbiome of cattle could provide important indicators of fertility pregnancy success; however, only recently has next-generation sequencing made it possible to deeply interrogate these microbial communities. The objective of this study was to determine the bacteriome of the vaginal and uterine environments in lactating Angus cows (n = 30) undergoing estrus synchronization prior to timed artificial insemination (TAI). On D-2 prior to TAI, uterine and vaginal flushes were performed. Vaginal flushes consisted of 60 mL of saline solution injected into the vaginal cavity, rectally massaged, and fluid collected using sterile 50 mL conical tubes. Uterine flushes were conducted using a Foley catheter, flushed with 180 mL of saline solution, and collected in sterile 50 mL conical tubes. After initial pregnancy check on Day 30 post TAI, 10 open cows were chosen based on successful flush, presence of corpus luteum on D-9, and ovarian activity throughout. DNA was extracted, and the V1-V3 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene were targeted and sequenced for bacterial community analysis. Sequences were cleaned and processed using QIIME-1.8.0 software package. Differences in bacterial community characteristics by normally distributed variables (Shannon index) were statistically analyzed by a one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) for multiple independent groups. Differences for not normally distributed variables and all multiple-group comparisons (observed OTUs, Chao1, relative abundances of taxonomic profiles) were completed using the Kruskal-Wallis H test with Benjamini-Hochberg FDR multiple test correction. For all analyses, the significance level was set at 0.05. The vagina contained a significantly greater number of operational taxonomic units (OTU; p = 0.002) than did the uterus, where 482 OTU were shared between the two. The vagina was significantly greater in phylogenetic diversity (Shannon diversity index; P = 0.029), and both environments were distinct in phylogenetic distribution utilizing UniFrac distance matrices (P = 0.005). The most abundant bacterial phyla in the uterus and vagina, respectively, were Firmicutes (31.3 ± 5.6%; 65.9 ± 4.1%), Protebacteria (22.9 ± 7.7%; 7.4 ± 3.8%), Actinobacteria (13.2 ± 6.7%; 2.3 ± 0.8%), and Bacteriodetes (8.5 ± 1.9%; 16.8 ± 2.7%). The vaginal and uterine bacteriome determined in this study provides the basis to evaluate potential roles microbiota may play in affecting reproductive outcomes.