The microbial composition in the cecum of pig influences host health, immunity, nutrient digestion, and feeding requirements significantly. Advancements in metagenome sequencing technologies such as 16S rRNAs have made it possible to explore cecum microbial population. In this study, we performed a comparative analysis of cecum microbiota of crossbred Korean native pigs at two different growth stages (stage L = 10 weeks, and stage LD = 26 weeks) using 16S rRNA sequencing technology. Our results revealed remarkable differences in microbial composition, α and β diversity, and differential abundance between the two stages. Phylum composition analysis with respect to SILVA132 database showed Firmicutes
to be present at 51.87% and 48.76% in stages L and LD, respectively. Similarly, Bacteroidetes
were present at 37.28% and 45.98% in L and LD, respectively. The genera Prevotella
were differentially enriched in stage L, whereas Clostridium
were enriched in stage LD. Functional annotation of microbiome by level-three KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) pathway analysis revealed that glycine, serine, threonine, valine, leucine, isoleucine arginine, proline, and tryptophan metabolism were differentially enriched in stage L, whereas alanine, aspartate, glutamate, cysteine, methionine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan biosynthesis metabolism were differentially enriched in stage LD. Through machine-learning approaches such as LEfSe (linear discriminant analysis effect size), random forest, and Pearson’s correlation, we found pathways such as amino acid metabolism, transport systems, and genetic regulation of metabolism are commonly enriched in both stages. Our findings suggest that the bacterial compositions in cecum content of pigs are heavily involved in their nutrient digestion process. This study may help to meet the demand of human food and can play significant roles in medicinal application.
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