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Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2019

Author(s): McCormack, UM; Curião, T; Metzler-Zebeli, BU; Magowan, E; Berry, DP; Reyer, H; Prieto, ML; Buzoianu, SG; Harrison, M; Rebeiz, N; Crispie, F; Cotter, PD; O"Sullivan, O; Gardiner, GE; Lawlor, PG

Title: Porcine Feed Efficiency-Associated Intestinal Microbiota and Physiological Traits: Finding Consistent Cross-Locational Biomarkers for Residual Feed Intake.

Source: mSystems. 2019; 4(4):

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Metzler-Zebeli Barbara

Vetmed Research Units
Unit of Nutritional Physiology

Project(s): A whole-system approach to optimising feed efficiency and reducing the ecological footprints of monogastrics

Optimal feed efficiency (FE) in pigs is important for economic and environmental reasons. Previous research identified FE-associated bacterial taxa within the intestinal microbiota of growing pigs. This study investigated whether FE-associated bacteria and selected FE-associated physiological traits were consistent across geographic locations (Republic of Ireland [ROI] [two batches of pigs, ROI1 and ROI2], Northern Ireland [NI], and Austria [AT]), where differences in genetic, dietary, and management factors were minimized. Pigs ( n  = 369) were ranked, within litter, on divergence in residual feed intake (RFI), and 100 extremes were selected (50 with high RFI and 50 with low RFI) across geographic locations for intestinal microbiota analysis using 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and examination of FE-associated physiological parameters. Microbial diversity varied by geographic location and intestinal sampling site but not by RFI rank, except in ROI2, where more-feed-efficient pigs had greater ileal and cecal diversity. Although none of the 188 RFI-associated taxonomic differences found were common to all locations/batches, Lentisphaerae , Ruminococcaceae , RF16, Mucispirillum , Methanobrevibacter , and two uncultured genera were more abundant within the fecal or cecal microbiota of low-RFI pigs in two geographic locations and/or in both ROI batches. These are major contributors to carbohydrate metabolism, which was reflected in functional predictions. Fecal volatile fatty acids and salivary cortisol were the only physiological parameters that differed between RFI ranks. Despite controlling genetics, diet specification, dietary phases, and management practices in each rearing environment, the rearing environment, encompassing maternal influence, herd health status, as well as other factors, appears to impact intestinal microbiota more than FE.

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