Effects of nutritional interventions on broiler performance, gut microflora and gene expression

M.M. van Krimpen, Mehran Torki, D. Schokker

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of five nutritional interventions between 14 and 28 days of age on broiler performance, composition of the intestinal microbiota, and gene expression in gut epithelial cells. A total of 1008 one-day-old male Ross 308 chicks was distributed between 36 floor pens (28 birds per pen). Birds were allocated to one of the six
iso-caloric grower experimental diets (d 15-28), with six replicate pens per treatment. Standard starter and finisher diets were used from d1-d14 and d29-d35 of age, respectively. High level (25%) of extracted rapeseed was included to diets to provide a nutritional challenge. Five nutritional interventions, including a plant extract (quercetin); an insoluble fiber (oat hulls); a prebiotic (β-glucan); an anti-microbial protein (lysozyme), and ω-3 of fish oil were applied in the
grower phase. Feed intake of broilers fed the diet including oat hulls and lysozyme was reduced during the first week of grower period compared to other groups, but there was no treatment effect after that. Over the second week of growing period, broilers fed the diet including lysozyme showed increased BWG compared to the control and birds fed diets including quercetin and β-glucan. A trend of increased FCR in broilers fed the diets supplemented by
lysozyme was seen during the first week of growing period and FCR in broilers fed the diets supplemented by lysozyme, oat hulls and fish oil improved during the second week of growing period. No carry-over effect on BWG, feed intake and FCR was seen in the finishing period.
On d21, hierarchical clustering of the group-averaged microbiota data showed no meaningful effect of dietary interventions based on the underlying taxonomic profiles. Alpha diversity by Shannon Index showed no difference per tissue. A significant taxon-treatment association was found in ileum within genus Enterococcus, which was significantly higher in the oat hulls included group compared to control and fish oil, mainly at the expense of Lactobacilli. Principal component analysis on microbiota showed that the oat hulls included treatment was also more separated from the rest of the samples, which were all centred around the origin. Compared to the control birds, the genes related to growth-factor-activity were expressed more in the β-glucan included diet and the genes related to anion-transmembrane-transporter-activity in the quercetin and oat hulls included diet were expressed less. In conclusion, limited effects of
dietary treatments were observed on gene expression of gut epithelial cells and the expressed genes seem not to be immune response related processes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Event16th International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals - Wageningen University (Hof van Wageningen Conference Centre), Wageningen, Netherlands
Duration: 22 Jun 201623 Jun 2016
Conference number: 16


Conference16th International Conference on Production Diseases in Farm Animals
Abbreviated titleICPD 2016
Internet address


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