Authors: Nimet ÖKTEM, Bayram GÖÇMEN, Saim TORUN
Abstract: In this study, the rumen ciliate protozoal composition belonging to the families Isotichidae and Entodiniidae, genera and species, from Turkish domestic sheep (Ovis ammon aries), their occurrance ratios and appearance frequencies and also total ciliate numbers per milliliter of each sheep rumen contents were determined. As the result of our survey, 3 genera (Isotricha, Dasytricha and Entodinium) including 23 species and 14 formae were distinguished. Twenty species of these are classified in the cins Entodinium (86.96 %). Of the ciliates which identified as belonging to this genus, one new species was recognized, then described as Entodinium semahatae sp. nov.. Moreover, this study reports for the second time the presence of Entodinium williamsi and Entodinium constrictum in the rumen of herbivorous mammals while it is third report for E. dalli (with f. rudidorsospinatum). All of the species and formae determined were compared with their original descriptions and previous reports, the similarities and differences were discussed. Total ciliate protozoa numbers per milliliter rumen contents in average were detected as 5.39 x 105 (cells/ml). The genus has both the highest occurrence ratio and appearance frequency is Entodinium (with an 100% appearance frequency and occurrence ratio of 80.06% in average). A relationship between the appearance frequencies and occurrence ratios of species is present. In other words, the species occured in higher appearance frequencies are also have higher densities in the rumen contents. It was determined that the rumen microfauna of the familya Entodiniidae from Turkish domestic sheep is more rich than that of Chinese, Japanese, Scottish, Canadian and Alaskan sheep in the viewpoint of diversity.
Keywords: Domestic sheep (Ovis ammon aries), Turkey, rumen ciliates, Isotrichidae, Entodiniidae, Entodinium semahatae sp. nov.