Dietary fibres modulate the composition and activity of butyrate-producing bacteria in the large intestine of suckling piglets

Chunlong Mu, Lingli Zhang, Xiangyu He, Hauke Smidt, Weiyun Zhu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Dietary fibres have been shown to affect early-life microbiota colonization in the large intestine of suckling piglets, however, much less is known as to whether they also modulate the composition and activity of butyrate-producing bacteria. Here, we investigated the effect of dietary fibres on the abundance, composition, and activity of butyrate-producing bacteria in suckling piglets. Piglets were fed a control diet or creep feeds containing alfalfa, wheat bran, or pure cellulose, respectively, from postnatal day 7 to 22. Large intestinal digesta and mucosa samples were collected for quantitative analysis of bacterial group-specific 16S ribosomal RNA- and butyrate production-related genes, and digesta samples for quantification of short-chain fatty acids. The alfalfa diet increased (P < 0.05) Clostridium cluster XIVa abundance, copies of genes encoding proteins involved in butyrate production (butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase, butyrate kinase), and butyrate concentration compared to the wheat bran diet in the digesta of the proximal colon. In the distal colonic digesta, animals fed the alfalfa diet had the highest number of butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase gene copies (P < 0.05) and numerically the highest butyrate concentration, albeit not significant (P > 0.05), compared to other groups. In the distal colonic mucosa, the cellulose diet increased (P < 0.05) the abundance of Clostridium cluster XIVa and copies of the butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase gene compared to the alfalfa diet. These results indicated that dietary fibres modulate the abundance and activity of butyrate-producing bacteria in the large intestine of suckling piglets, and that a moderate supplementation of alfalfa and cellulose may benefit early-life gut health through the delivery of butyrate to the mucosa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-696
JournalAntonie van Leeuwenhoek: : Nederlandsch tijdschrift voor hygiëne, microbiologie en serologie
Volume110
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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