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Rabbit's bacteria project

  1. Feb 17, 2010 #1
    Hi, I'm doing a high school project, and I'll need a lot of help....
    I'm trying to figure out what bacteria in the rabbit's digestive system that helps the rabbit to digest cellulose. I've searched, but wikipedia or any other website just say "good bacteria".
    Could someone give me the exact name of the bacteria? And is there a chance that I can get these bacteria from the waste of the rabbit (either the hard one or the pellets one)? My school does not allow students to kill animals, and I don't want to either...
    Thank you so much in advance!! ^^
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2010 #2
    Can someone please help me...?
  4. Feb 19, 2010 #3


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    I found a older paper mentioning the bacteria that digest cellulose from the rabbit ceacum however it does not mention the bacteria by name.

    For isolating bacteria, you can collect and use the feces as source bu I don't know if they will contain the cellulose digesting bacteria.
  5. Feb 19, 2010 #4
    There are plenty of cellulose digesting bacteria. Rodents and rabbits digest differently than cows and the name of the bacteria is escaping my mind right now.

    However rabbits do not fully break down cellulose this serves many purposes to the rabbit, I'm also pretty sure that because the bacteria are in the cecum that they must re-eat their feces in order to get the nutritional value from the break down of the cellulose.

    In order to isolate the bacteria I am sure that you would be able to find some in a sample of feces. I'm not sure what level of biology you are at because this may be a difficult task and identifying the bacteria may also be difficult.
  6. Feb 19, 2010 #5
    Thanks everyone so much!
    I'm doing it for a high school project... There's no way back now since I have 1 week left.
    I gave up the idea of isolating the bacteria (we only have very simple equipments). Now I am just trying to grow the bacteria from the feces now (all of them, not only the cellulose digesting ones), and afterward I would try to put cellulose to some colonies, wait for 1 day and test if any glucose is produced.
    However, when zomgwtf say that rabbits do not fully break down cellulose, that would mean what I am doing now is useless, or it is? I am not sure, because my teacher could not answer all my questions...will my experiment stated above still work?
    Thank you in advance!
  7. Feb 23, 2010 #6


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    MonsieurWise, rabbits do have cellulose breaking bacteria but has zomgwtf mentioned the bacteria are located at the end of the digestive track rather than the beginning like ruminants such as cows. The cellulose gets partly broken down because the "set-up" is inefficient not due to their lack of cellulose digesting bacteria
  8. Feb 25, 2010 #7
    Ah, thank you so much. That cleared things up a lot!! :))
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