Interpretive Summary: Genetic relationships between efficiency traits and gut microbiota traits in growing pigs being fed with a conventional or a high-fiber diet
The link between the composition of the gut microbiota, i.e the composition of microorganisms in the gut, in pigs and their feed efficiency, i.e. their ability to utilize nutrients, as well as their ability to digest were studied from a genetic point of view. A family structure of 1,564 pigs were studied and fed with two different diets. One of the full-sib was fed a conventional diet used in breeding farms and the other one an alternative diet containing raw materials, less expensive but with a higher content of dietary fibers more difficult to digest. This study has shown that some microbiota microorganisms were genetically correlated with feed and digestive efficiency performances, positively or negatively, depending on the microorganisms. In addition, the diversity of microorganisms in the animal’s gut was favorably correlated with the feed and digestive performances studied. Therefore, there is a genetic link between these performances and the composition of the animal’s gut microbiota. Thus, a potential genetic selection on some intestinal microorganisms or diversity of microorganisms would allow to improve these performances, and in particular when pigs are fed with diet more difficult to digest.
Read the full article on the Journal of Animal Science.