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Animals, Volume 11, Issue 4 (April 2021) – 268 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Companion dogs show various forms of socio-cognitive traits that enable a smooth co-existence with their owners – for example, dogs are capable of learning from the humans’ behaviour via observation. At the same time, there are several behavioural characteristics in dogs that are considered as problematic, such as the various forms of owner-directed aggression or resisting against the owner’s will. In this study, the possible association between the various aspects of the dog–human relationship was assessed by testing dogs with various problem behaviours in a social learning task. One of the most interesting findings was that those dogs that scored higher on aggression and assertiveness-related traits learned better from the human demonstrator. The results indicate that the dog–human relationship may have a complex association with various aspects of social interactions between the two species. View [...] Read more.
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Article
Schizochytrium sp. (T18) Oil as a Fish Oil Replacement in Diets for Juvenile Rainbow Trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss): Effects on Growth Performance, Tissue Fatty Acid Content, and Lipid-Related Transcript Expression
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1185; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041185 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1914
Abstract
In this study, we evaluated whether oil extracted from the marine microbe, Schizochytrium sp. (strain T18), with high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), could replace fish oil (FO) in diets for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Three experimental diets were tested: (1) [...] Read more.
In this study, we evaluated whether oil extracted from the marine microbe, Schizochytrium sp. (strain T18), with high levels of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), could replace fish oil (FO) in diets for rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Three experimental diets were tested: (1) a control diet with fish oil (FO diet), (2) a microbial oil (MO) diet with a blend of camelina oil (CO) referred to as MO/CO diet, and (3) a MO diet (at a higher inclusion level). Rainbow trout (18.8 ± 2.9 g fish−1 initial weight ± SD) were fed for 8 weeks and evaluated for growth performance, fatty acid content and transcript expression of lipid-related genes in liver and muscle. There were no differences in growth performance measurements among treatments. In liver and muscle, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) was highest in trout fed the FO diet compared to the MO/CO and MO diets. Liver DHA was highest in trout fed the MO/CO diet compared to the FO and MO diets. Muscle DHA was highest in trout fed the MO and MO/CO diets compared to the FO diet. In trout fed the MO/CO diet, compared to the MO diet, fadsd6b was higher in both liver and muscle. In trout fed the FO or MO/CO diets, compared to the MO diet, cox1a was higher in both liver and muscle, cpt1b1a was higher in liver and cpt1a1a, cpt1a1b and cpt1a2a were higher in muscle. Schizochytrium sp. (T18) oil was an effective source of DHA for rainbow trout. Full article
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Article
Seasonal Influence on Rumen Microbiota, Rumen Fermentation, and Enteric Methane Emissions of Holstein and Jersey Steers under the Same Total Mixed Ration
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041184 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1343
Abstract
Seasonal effects on rumen microbiome and enteric methane (CH4) emissions are poorly documented. In this study, 6 Holstein and 6 Jersey steers were fed the same total mixed ration diet during winter, spring, and summer seasons under a 2 × 3 [...] Read more.
Seasonal effects on rumen microbiome and enteric methane (CH4) emissions are poorly documented. In this study, 6 Holstein and 6 Jersey steers were fed the same total mixed ration diet during winter, spring, and summer seasons under a 2 × 3 factorial arrangement for 30 days per season. The dry matter intake (DMI), rumen fermentation characteristics, enteric CH4 emissions and rumen microbiota were analyzed. Holstein had higher total DMI than Jersey steers regardless of season. However, Holstein steers had the lowest metabolic DMI during summer, while Jersey steers had the lowest total DMI during winter. Jersey steers had higher CH4 yields and intensities than Holstein steers regardless of season. The pH was decreased, while ammonia nitrogen concentration was increased in summer regardless of breed. Total volatile fatty acids concentration and propionate proportions were the highest in winter, while acetate and butyrate proportion were the highest in spring and in summer, respectively, regardless of breed. Moreover, Holstein steers produced a higher proportion of propionate, while Jersey steers produced a higher proportion of butyrate regardless of season. Metataxonomic analysis of rumen microbiota showed that operational taxonomic units and Chao 1 estimates were lower and highly unstable during summer, while winter had the lowest Shannon diversity. Beta diversity analysis suggested that the overall rumen microbiota was shifted according to seasonal changes in both breeds. In winter, the rumen microbiota was dominated by Carnobacterium jeotgali and Ruminococcus bromii, while in summer, Paludibacter propionicigenes was predominant. In Jersey steers, Capnocytophaga cynodegmi, Barnesiella viscericola and Flintibacter butyricus were predominant, whereas in Holstein steers, Succinivibrio dextrinosolvens and Gilliamella bombicola were predominant. Overall results suggest that seasonal changes alter rumen microbiota and fermentation characteristics of both breeds; however, CH4 emissions from steers were significantly influenced by breeds, not by seasons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rumen Microbiomes)
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Article
Evaluation of the Proliferative Activity of Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) in Dogs with Respect to Patient Eligibility for Anthracycline-Based Chemotherapy
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041183 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 909
Abstract
Different types of canine lymphoma respond differently to chemotherapy and have different prognoses. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma in dogs. Topoisomerase II alpha (TOPIIα) protein has been shown to be a proliferation marker associated with prognostic significance. The [...] Read more.
Different types of canine lymphoma respond differently to chemotherapy and have different prognoses. Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common lymphoma in dogs. Topoisomerase II alpha (TOPIIα) protein has been shown to be a proliferation marker associated with prognostic significance. The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between TOPIIα expression, mitotic count (MC), and Ki67 antigen index in DLBCL in dogs, taking into account the applicability of these parameters to select the chemotherapy protocol with emphasis on the use of anthracycline drugs. Samples of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded lymph nodes from 34 dogs with DLBCL were immunohistochemically labelled with anti-TOPIIα and Ki67. The number of positive cells and the intensity of the reaction were taken into account in order to assess TOPIIα expression. MC was estimated in the hematoxylin and eosin-stained slides in the area of 2.37 mm2. Positive association between TOPIIα and MC, but no association between TOPIIα and Ki67 was found. It can be concluded that the immunohistochemical determination of TOPIIα as a molecular target for drugs from the anthracycline group may be used in association with MC to establish a diagnostic-clinical protocol for selecting dogs with DLBCL for treatment with anthracycline drugs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spontaneous Neoplasms in Animals)
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Review
Game-Changing Approaches in Sperm Sex-Sorting: Microfluidics and Nanotechnology
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1182; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041182 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
The utilization of sex-sorted sperm for artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization is considered a valuable tool for improving production efficiency and optimizing reproductive management in farm animals, subsequently ensuring sufficient food resource for the growing human population. Despite the fact that sperm sex-sorting [...] Read more.
The utilization of sex-sorted sperm for artificial insemination and in-vitro fertilization is considered a valuable tool for improving production efficiency and optimizing reproductive management in farm animals, subsequently ensuring sufficient food resource for the growing human population. Despite the fact that sperm sex-sorting is one of the most intense studied technologies and notable progress have been made in the past three decades to optimize it, the conception rates when using sex-sorted semen are still under expectations. Assisted reproduction programs may benefit from the use of emergent nano and microfluidic-based technologies. This article addresses the currently used methods for sperm sex-sorting, as well as the emerging ones, based on nanotechnology and microfluidics emphasizing on their practical and economic applicability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biotechnologies Applied to Animal Reproduction)
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Article
Freedom to Grow: Improving Sow Welfare also Benefits Piglets
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1181; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041181 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1800
Abstract
Piglet mortality, especially due to crushing, is a concern in pig production. While current systems use farrowing crates to reduce mortality, they present major animal welfare problems for the sow. This study investigated the effects of free lactation farrowing accommodation on the welfare [...] Read more.
Piglet mortality, especially due to crushing, is a concern in pig production. While current systems use farrowing crates to reduce mortality, they present major animal welfare problems for the sow. This study investigated the effects of free lactation farrowing accommodation on the welfare of piglets born and reared in such accommodation when compared with conventional farrowing crates. Piglets were born to sows in one of two farrowing accommodation treatments and followed from birth to slaughter. Treatments were conventional farrowing crates (control, n = 24 litters) and free lactation pens, which were larger and allowed the sow freedom of movement both pre and post farrowing, (free, n = 22 litters) (675 total piglets). Individual weights were recorded from birth to slaughter. Hoof score was recorded at weaning. Behaviour was recorded during lactation and during the weaner stage. Pre-weaning percentage mortality was equal in treatments (free = 15.95 ± 2.31, control = 14.42 ± 2.15, p = 0.61). Final weight was influenced by treatment (p < 0.05) with pigs from free lactation pens significantly heavier at 114.73 kg compared to 110.82 kg for control pigs. Free pigs took fewer days than control pigs to reach the target weight of 105 kg (147.6 vs. 149.23 days). Throughout lactation, fewer instances of damaging behaviour (ear and tail biting) were observed in free pigs (p = 0.07). Improved growth rates and a decrease in damaging behaviours provide evidence to suggest that pigs from free lactation pens experience improved welfare when compared with control pigs. Full article
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Article
Expression of Enzymes Associated with Prostaglandin Synthesis in Equine Conceptuses
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1180; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041180 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 810
Abstract
In the horse, mobility of the conceptus is required for maternal recognition of pregnancy depending on secretion of prostaglandins by the conceptus. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and localization of key enzymes of the different pathways leading to [...] Read more.
In the horse, mobility of the conceptus is required for maternal recognition of pregnancy depending on secretion of prostaglandins by the conceptus. The aim of this study was to determine the expression and localization of key enzymes of the different pathways leading to synthesis of prostaglandin E2 and F2α in the equine conceptus during the mobility phase. Enzyme expression was analyzed via quantitative RT-PCR in total RNA samples of equine conceptuses collected on days 10 (n = 5), 12 (n = 12), 14 (n = 5) and 16 (n = 7) from healthy mares. Relative abundance of cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 mRNA was higher (p < 0.05) than of COX-1 irrespective of conceptus age and for phospholipase A2 on day 16 in comparison to all other days (p < 0.01). Abundance of mRNA of cytosolic and microsomal prostaglandin E synthase (PGES) and of carbonyl reductase (CBR) 1 was not influenced by conceptus age. Immunohistochemically, COX-1, COX-2, as well as cytosolic and microsomal PGES were present in both the ectodermal and endodermal layer of the yolk sac wall. CBR-1 was restricted to periembryonic disc area. The localisation of the key enzymes explains the mechanism of embryo mobility. In vitro incubation of primary trophoblast cell cultures with oxytocin had no effect on key enzyme synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in the Reproduction of Equids)
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Article
Isolation, Identification and Function of Pichia anomala AR2016 and Its Effects on the Growth and Health of Weaned Pigs
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1179; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041179 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 959
Abstract
This study isolates and identifies Pichia anomala (P. anomala) AR2016, and studies its effect on the growth and health of weaned pigs. A P. anomala strain from solid wine koji is isolated and identified using 26S rDNA analysis, and [...] Read more.
This study isolates and identifies Pichia anomala (P. anomala) AR2016, and studies its effect on the growth and health of weaned pigs. A P. anomala strain from solid wine koji is isolated and identified using 26S rDNA analysis, and its culture conditions are optimized. Heat tolerance, bile salt tolerance, artificial gastric, and intestinal juice tolerance are evaluated. In our methodology, thirty 28 d Large White × Landrace × Rongchang weaned pigs were randomly divided into three groups with 10 barrows in each, and fed a maize-soybean meal diet and orally administered 0.85% saline (CK), 1 mL 1 × 109 cfu/mL Candida utilis (C. utilis), and 1 mL 1 × 109 cfu/mL P. anomala once daily for 28 days. A P. anomala strain was identified and named P. anomala AR2016. P. anomala AR2016 grew best in yeast extract peptone dextrose medium with pH 5.0 at 28 °C, 180 r/min and could tolerate 45 °C for 0.5 h, 0.2% pig bile salts, simulated gastric fluid, and 1.0% simulated intestinal fluid. Our results show that compared with the CK group, orally administered P. anomala AR2016 increases average daily gain, the ileal villus height, the ileal mucosal concentrations of occludin and zonula occluens-1, the serum glucose and total protein concentration, total superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase, and total antioxidative capacity activity, the trypsin and lipase activity in jejunal and ileal contents, the jejunal and ileal mucosa mRNA levels of ALP, TNF-α, and TLR-2, and the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, Succinivibrionaceae, Lachnospiraceae, and Prevotellaceae (p < 0.05). Compared with the CK group, oral administration of P. anomala AR2016 decreased the incidence of diarrhea, aspartate aminotransferase activity, alanine amino-transferase-activity, malondialdehyde, D-lactic acid and endotoxin content in serum, the mRNA level of aminopeptidase N of ileum mucosa, and the relative abundance of Proteobacteria, Clostridiaceae, Campylobacteraceae, Vibrionaceae, Bacillus, and Pseudon (p < 0.05). Collectively, the study indicates that P. anomala AR2016 can tolerate high acidity and high bile salts, and has high survivability in the artificial gastric intestinal juice environment. Oral administration of P. anomala AR2016 improves the growth performance, reduces the incidence of diarrhea, enhances intestinal barrier function, and improves microflora in weaned pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Microbiome in Animal Health and Nutrition)
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Article
Antibacterial Activity of Some Molecules Added to Rabbit Semen Extender as Alternative to Antibiotics
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1178; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041178 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 886
Abstract
Although great attention is paid to hygiene during semen collection and processing, bacteria are commonly found in the semen of healthy fertile males of different species. As the storage of extended semen might facilitate bacterial growth, extenders are commonly supplemented with antibiotics. This [...] Read more.
Although great attention is paid to hygiene during semen collection and processing, bacteria are commonly found in the semen of healthy fertile males of different species. As the storage of extended semen might facilitate bacterial growth, extenders are commonly supplemented with antibiotics. This study aimed to evaluate the antibacterial activity of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA), bestatin and chitosan-based nanoparticles added to rabbit semen extender and their effect on reproductive performance under field conditions. Four different extenders were tested, supplemented with antibiotics (TCG+AB), with EDTA and bestatin (EB), with EDTA, bestatin and chitosan-based nanoparticles (QEB) or without antibiotics (TCG-AB). Extended semen was cooled at 15 °C for three days. Cooled samples were examined for bacterial growth and semen quality every 24 h for 3 days. The enterobacteria count increased considerably during storage at 72 h in semen extended with TCG+AB and TCG-AB, while extenders EB and QEB showed a bacteriostatic effect over time. After 24, 48 and 72 h, quality characteristics were retained in all groups, with no significant motility differences, either in acrosome integrity, membrane functionality or the viability of spermatozoa. Additionally, bacterial concentration present in fresh semen did not affect reproductive performance. In conclusion, EDTA and bestatin exerted a potent bacteriostatic effect over time and could be used as an alternative to conventional antibiotics in rabbit semen extenders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and New Strategies on Rabbit Breeding)
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Article
Diving in Nose First: The Influence of Unfamiliar Search Scale and Environmental Context on the Search Performance of Volunteer Conservation Detection Dog–Handler Teams
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041177 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1402
Abstract
Conservation detection dogs (CDDs) are trained to locate biological material from plants and animals of interest to conservation efforts and are often more effective and economical than other detection methods. However, the financial costs of developing and appropriately caring for CDDs can nonetheless [...] Read more.
Conservation detection dogs (CDDs) are trained to locate biological material from plants and animals of interest to conservation efforts and are often more effective and economical than other detection methods. However, the financial costs of developing and appropriately caring for CDDs can nonetheless prohibit their use, particularly by smaller conservation organizations. Training skilled volunteers to work with suitable pet dogs may help address this constraint. We sought to further develop the skills of 13 volunteer dog–handler teams that were trained in a previous study to detect myrrh essential oil in controlled laboratory conditions. We assessed search sensitivity, search effort, search precision and false-alert instances through progressive training stages increasing in size and environmental complexity. First, teams searched various-sized areas before and after 12 weeks of search training on a sports-field. Next, teams searched various-sized areas before and after seven weeks of training in bushland. Overall, search sensitivity decreased by approximately 20% in each unfamiliar context, compared to performance in familiar contexts. However, sensitivity typically improved from baseline performance by 10–20% after a period of training. Six teams found at least 78% of targets after training in bushland, yet sensitivity ranged from 29% to 86% between teams. We maintain that the foundational skills developed previously were necessary to prepare volunteer teams for field surveys involving conservation related targets. However, our results highlight the need to also train volunteer CDD teams in search scale and environmental contexts similar to their intended working conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Health, Behaviour and Performance in Working Dog Teams)
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Review
Welfare Health and Productivity in Commercial Pig Herds
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1176; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041176 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1565
Abstract
In recent years, there have been very dynamic changes in both pork production and pig breeding technology around the world. The general trend of increasing the efficiency of pig production, with reduced employment, requires optimisation and a comprehensive approach to herd management. One [...] Read more.
In recent years, there have been very dynamic changes in both pork production and pig breeding technology around the world. The general trend of increasing the efficiency of pig production, with reduced employment, requires optimisation and a comprehensive approach to herd management. One of the most important elements on the way to achieving this goal is to maintain animal welfare and health. The health of the pigs on the farm is also a key aspect in production economics. The need to maintain a high health status of pig herds by eliminating the frequency of different disease units and reducing the need for antimicrobial substances is part of a broadly understood high potential herd management strategy. Thanks to the use of sensors (cameras, microphones, accelerometers, or radio-frequency identification transponders), the images, sounds, movements, and vital signs of animals are combined through algorithms and analysed for non-invasive monitoring of animals, which allows for early detection of diseases, improves their welfare, and increases the productivity of breeding. Automated, innovative early warning systems based on continuous monitoring of specific physiological (e.g., body temperature) and behavioural parameters can provide an alternative to direct diagnosis and visual assessment by the veterinarian or the herd keeper. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare Assessment: Novel Approaches and Technologies)
Article
Is There a Link between Suckling and Manipulation Behavior during Rearing in Pigs?
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1175; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041175 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 794
Abstract
Inadequate possibilities to perform oral manipulation behavior for pigs can lead to misdirection and thus tail biting. Our study aimed to analyze manipulation behaviors of weaner pigs with focus on tail biting and the relationship with agonistic characteristics of the piglets during suckling. [...] Read more.
Inadequate possibilities to perform oral manipulation behavior for pigs can lead to misdirection and thus tail biting. Our study aimed to analyze manipulation behaviors of weaner pigs with focus on tail biting and the relationship with agonistic characteristics of the piglets during suckling. We analyzed the individual manipulation behavior of 188 weaner pigs. General health condition and tail lesions were determined weekly. Correlations were estimated between weight at weaning and at the end of rearing period, frequency of manipulative rearing behaviors and Dominance and social tension index based on suckling behavior. Principal component and cluster analyses were performed to identify groups of piglets which showed similar suckling and rearing behaviors. Tail biting increased at the middle and end of rearing with switching roles of biters and victims. Tail lesions were correlated with received tail biting behavior but occurred with a delay of more than a week. The frequency of performed tail biting was correlated with dominance index (rs = −0.256, p < 0.01) and weaning weight (rs = −0.199, p < 0.05). We assume that performed tail biting is more often observed in pigs who show mainly submissive behavior in teat disputes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behaviour of Pigs in Relation to Housing Environment)
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Article
Close Companions? A Zooarchaeological Study of the Human–Cattle Relationship in Medieval England
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1174; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041174 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1513
Abstract
Across medieval Europe, cattle commanded a major, if shifting, economic and social value, and their use for meat, milk, and traction is well established. Although the changing roles of cattle throughout this period may have influenced relationships between humans and cattle, this has [...] Read more.
Across medieval Europe, cattle commanded a major, if shifting, economic and social value, and their use for meat, milk, and traction is well established. Although the changing roles of cattle throughout this period may have influenced relationships between humans and cattle, this has been largely neglected in historical and zooarchaeological studies. Data from nearly 700 archaeological assemblages of animal remains have been used to provide an overview of the herd structures (age and sex) of cattle populations for England between AD 450 and 1400. These have been analysed alongside pathological and sub-pathological changes in over 2800 lower limb bones of cattle from seventeen archaeological sites to provide a better understanding of the use of cattle for ploughing, hauling, and carting. The findings were considered alongside historical documents and ethnographic evidence to chart changing human–cattle relationships. Results indicate that human–cattle relations varied with changing economic, agricultural, and social practices. From the mid-fifth century, cattle were a form of portable wealth, however, by the mid-ninth century, they were perceived as a commodity with monetary value. From this period, close human–cattle bonds are likely to have been widespread between plough hands and working animals. Such bonds are may have diminished with the increasing number of young beef cattle kept to supply the urban population from the mid-eleventh century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Trends on Prehistoric and Historical Zooarchaeology)
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Case Report
Dentinogenic Ghost Cell Tumor in a Sumatran Rhinoceros
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041173 - 20 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1148
Abstract
An adult female Sumatran rhinoceros was observed with a swelling in the left infraorbital region in March 2017. The swelling rapidly grew into a mass. A radiograph revealed a cystic radiolucent area in the left maxilla. In June 2017, the rhinoceros was euthanized. [...] Read more.
An adult female Sumatran rhinoceros was observed with a swelling in the left infraorbital region in March 2017. The swelling rapidly grew into a mass. A radiograph revealed a cystic radiolucent area in the left maxilla. In June 2017, the rhinoceros was euthanized. At necropsy, the infraorbital mass measured 21 cm × 30 cm. Samples of the infraorbital mass, left parotid gland, and left masseter muscle were collected for histopathology (Hematoxylin & Eosin, Von Kossa, Masson’s trichrome, cytokeratin AE1/AE3, EMA, p53, and S-100). Numerous neoplastic epithelial cells showing pleomorphism and infiltration were observed. Islands of dentinoid material containing ghost cells and keratin pearls were observed with the aid of the two special histochemistry stains. Mitotic figures were rarely observed. All the neoplastic odontogenic cells and keratin pearls showed an intense positive stain for cytokeratin AE1/AE3, while some keratin pearls showed mild positive stains for S-100. All samples were negative for p53 and S-100 immunodetection. The mass was diagnosed as a dentinogenic ghost cell tumor. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Comparative Pathology and Immunohistochemistry of Veterinary Species)
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Article
Genetic Characterization of a Sheep Population in Oaxaca, Mexico: The Chocholteca Creole
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1172; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041172 - 20 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1061
Abstract
Creole sheep in México have undergone crossbreeding, provoking the loss of genetic variability. The objective of the present study is to determine the intra-racial genetic diversity, the genetic relationship with other genotypes, and the populational substructure of the Oaxacan Creole sheep. Twenty-nine blood [...] Read more.
Creole sheep in México have undergone crossbreeding, provoking the loss of genetic variability. The objective of the present study is to determine the intra-racial genetic diversity, the genetic relationship with other genotypes, and the populational substructure of the Oaxacan Creole sheep. Twenty-nine blood samples were obtained of Creole sheep of the Oaxaca Mixteca region in México. A genetic analysis was made with 41 microsatellites recommended for studies of genetic diversity in sheep. An analysis was made of genetic diversity, populational structure, and genetic distance with 27 other sheep populations. The study found 205 alleles with a range of 2 to 9 by locus and an effective number of 3.33. The intra-racial analysis showed a moderate genetic diversity with values of expected heterozygosity of 0.686 and observed of 0.756, a mean polymorphic information content of 0.609, and a mean coefficient of consanguinity of −0.002. In interracial genetic diversity for the coefficients of consanguinity, the values were FIS = 0.0774, FIT = 0.16993, and FST = 0.10028, showing an elevated genetic distance with other creole breeds, but close to Argentine Creole, to another Creole of México and the Spanish Merino. Its genetic structure showed that it does not have any populational subdivision nor mixes with the others analyzed. It is concluded that it is a distinct and isolated population and is proposed as the creole breed “Chocholteca” for its conservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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Article
Genome-Wide Association Study Demonstrates the Role Played by the CD226 Gene in Rasa Aragonesa Sheep Reproductive Seasonality
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041171 - 19 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1175
Abstract
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was used to identify genomic regions influencing seasonality reproduction traits in Rasa Aragonesa sheep. Three traits associated with either ovarian function based on blood progesterone levels (total days of anoestrus and progesterone cycling months) or behavioral signs of [...] Read more.
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was used to identify genomic regions influencing seasonality reproduction traits in Rasa Aragonesa sheep. Three traits associated with either ovarian function based on blood progesterone levels (total days of anoestrus and progesterone cycling months) or behavioral signs of oestrous (oestrous cycling months) were studied. The GWAS included 205 ewes genotyped using the 50k and 680k Illumina Ovine Beadchips. Only one SNP associated with the progesterone cycling months overcame the genome-wide significance level (rs404991855). Nine SNPs exhibited significant associations at the chromosome level, being the SNPs rs404991855 and rs418191944, that are located in the CD226 molecule (CD226) gene, associated with the three traits. This gene is related to reproductive diseases. Two other SNPs were located close to the neuropeptide Y (NPY) gene, which is involved in circadian rhythms. To validate the GWAS, partial characterization of both genes by Sanger sequencing, and genotyping of two synonymous and two nonsynonymous SNPs in the NPY and CD226 genes, respectively, were performed. SNP association analysis showed that only SNP rs404360094 in the exon 3 of the CD226 gene, which produces an amino acid substitution from asparagine (uncharged polar) to aspartic acid (acidic), was associated with the three seasonality traits. Our results suggest that the CD226 gene may be involved in the reproductive seasonality in Rasa Aragonesa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Genetics and Reproduction)
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Article
Use of Corn Silk Meal in Broiler Diet: Effect on Growth Performance, Blood Biochemistry, Immunological Responses, and Growth-Related Gene Expression
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1170; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041170 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1113
Abstract
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of diets supplemented with corn silk meal (CSM) and non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) enzyme on growth performance, blood biochemistry, immunological response, and growth-related gene expression in broiler chickens. A total of 270 broiler chickens [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to examine the effects of diets supplemented with corn silk meal (CSM) and non-starch polysaccharide (NSP) enzyme on growth performance, blood biochemistry, immunological response, and growth-related gene expression in broiler chickens. A total of 270 broiler chickens were divided into six experimental groups: (1) basal diets (BD) as control; (2) BD supplemented with 0.5 g/kg feed NSP enzyme; the other four groups are CSM diets as following; (3) and (4) fed diet contain 40 and 80 kg/ton of CSM; (5) and (6) fed diet contain 40 and 80 kg/ton CSM and supplemented with 0.5 g/kg NSP enzyme. Body weight gain (BWG), feed conversion ratio (FCR), protein retention and fiber digestibility were synergistically improved (p < 0.05) when fed CSM supplemented with NSP enzyme. Moreover, a synergistic decrease (p < 0.05) in the serum glucose and total cholesterol were found. Immune organ weights and Newcastle disease virus titers were increased with CSM diets. Interestingly, the relative mRNAs of the growth hormone receptor (GHR) and insulin growth factor (IGF) were increased (p < 0.05) with the CSM and NSP enzyme: the relative mRNA expressions of cholecystokinin (CCK) and leptin were decreased by feeding CSM diets with the NSP enzyme. It could be concluded that the dietary inclusion of CSM with the NSP enzyme might improve growth performance, modify plasma lipids, and enhance immune response in broilers. Full article
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Article
Isomer-Specific Effects of cis-9,trans-11- and trans-10,cis-12-CLA on Immune Regulation in Ruminal Epithelial Cells
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1169; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041169 - 19 Apr 2021
Viewed by 926
Abstract
In this study, we used transcriptomics and qPCR to investigate the potential immunoprotective effects of different conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers, the natural rumen microbial metabolites, on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation of ruminal epithelial cells (RECs) in vitro. The results showed that 100 μM [...] Read more.
In this study, we used transcriptomics and qPCR to investigate the potential immunoprotective effects of different conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) isomers, the natural rumen microbial metabolites, on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced inflammation of ruminal epithelial cells (RECs) in vitro. The results showed that 100 μM trans-10,cis-12-CLA exerted higher anti-inflammatory effects than cis-9,trans-11-CLA by significantly downregulating the expression of genes related to inflammation, cell proliferation and migration in RECs upon LPS stimulation. Transcriptomic analyses further indicated that pretreatment with trans-10,cis-12-CLA, but not cis-9,trans-11-CLA, significantly suppressed the biological signals of GO terms’ response to LPS, the regulation of signal transduction and cytokine production and KEGG pathways NF-κB, chemokine, NOD-like receptor, Hippo, PI3K-Akt, TGF-β and Rap1 signaling in RECs upon LPS stimulation. Furthermore, pretreatment with trans-10,cis-12-CLA significantly reduced the expression of lipogenic genes and the biosynthesis of the unsaturated fatty acid pathway in RECs compared with the LPS group, however, cis-9,trans-11-CLA exhibited the opposite results. These results suggest the distinct isomer differences of CLA in the regulation of inflammatory responses and adipocytokine signaling in RECs and will provide important references for determining their target use in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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Article
Development and Validation of Equations for Predicting the Metabolizable Energy Value of Double-Low Rapeseed Cake for Growing Pigs
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1168; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041168 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
The study was conducted to develop and validate an equation to predict the metabolizable energy (ME) of double-low rapeseed cakes (DLRSC) for growing pigs based on their chemical compositions. In Experiment 1, 66 growing pigs (initial body weight 36.6 ± 4.1 kg) were [...] Read more.
The study was conducted to develop and validate an equation to predict the metabolizable energy (ME) of double-low rapeseed cakes (DLRSC) for growing pigs based on their chemical compositions. In Experiment 1, 66 growing pigs (initial body weight 36.6 ± 4.1 kg) were allotted randomly to a completely randomized design with 11 diets. The diets included a corn–soybean meal basal diet and 10 test diets containing 19.22% DLRSC supplemented at the expense of corn, soybean meal, and lysine. Neutral detergent fiber (NDF), crude fiber (CF), and gross energy (GE) were the best predictors to determine ME. The best-fit prediction equation of ME (MJ/kg) was ME = 9.33 − 0.09 × NDF − 0.25 × CF + 0.59 × GE (R2 = 0.93). In Experiment 2, a total of 144 growing pigs (initial body weight 29.7 ± 2.7 kg), with six pigs per pen and six pens per treatment, were assigned randomly to four treatments in a completely randomized block design for a 28-day feeding trial. A corn–soybean meal basal diet was prepared, and three additional diets were formulated by adding 7%, 14%, and 21% DLRSC to the basal diet at the expense of soybean meal. All diets were formulated to provide equal standardized ileal digestibility (SID) Lys/ME ratio and SID essential amino acids/SID Lys ratio. Increasing dietary levels of DLRSC had no effect on average daily feed intake, average daily gain, and feed-to-gain ratio. The caloric efficiency of ME (31.83, 32.44, 31.95, and 32.69 MJ/kg, respectively) was not changed by increasing the dietary concentration of DLRSC. Increasing dietary levels of DLRSC linearly reduced (p < 0.05) the concentrations of triiodothyronine and tetraiodothyronine in serum, as well as apparent total tract digestibility of DM, GE, crude protein, acid detergent fiber, and organic matter of the diet. In conclusion, the ME prediction equation obtained in Experiment 1 accurately estimates the ME value of DLRSC fed to growing pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Use of Agricultural By-Products in Animal Feeding)
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Review
Protein and Amino Acid Metabolism in Poultry during and after Heat Stress: A Review
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1167; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041167 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
This review examined the influence of environmental heat stress, a concern facing modern broiler producers, on protein metabolism and broiler performance, as well as the physiological mechanisms that activate and control or minimize the detrimental impacts of stress. In addition, available scientific papers [...] Read more.
This review examined the influence of environmental heat stress, a concern facing modern broiler producers, on protein metabolism and broiler performance, as well as the physiological mechanisms that activate and control or minimize the detrimental impacts of stress. In addition, available scientific papers that focused on amino acids (AA) digestibility under stress conditions were analyzed. Furthermore, AA supplementation, a good strategy to enhance broiler thermotolerance, amelioration, or stress control, by keeping stress at optimal levels rather than its elimination, plays an important role in the success of poultry breeding. Poultry maintain homeothermy, and their response to heat stress is mainly due to elevated ambient temperature and the failure of effective heat loss, which causes a considerable negative economic impact on the poultry industry worldwide. Reduced feed intake, typically observed during heat stress, was the primary driver for meat production loss. However, accumulating evidence indicates that heat stress influences poultry metabolism and endocrine profiles independently of reduced feed intake. In conclusion, high ambient temperatures significantly reduced dietary AA intake, which in turn reduced protein deposition and growth in broilers. Further studies are required to determine the quantity of the AA needed in warm and hot climates and to introduce genetic tools for animal breeding associated with the heat stress in chickens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Recent Advances in Poultry Nutrition and Production)
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Article
A Moderate Reduction of Dietary Crude Protein Provide Comparable Growth Performance and Improve Metabolism via Changing Intestinal Microbiota in Sushan Nursery Pigs
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1166; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041166 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
In this paper, we investigated the effects of a diet with a moderate reduction of dietary crude protein (CP) level, supplemented with five crystalline amino acids (Lys, Met, Thr, Try, and Val), on the growth, metabolism, and fecal microbiota of Sushan nursery pigs. [...] Read more.
In this paper, we investigated the effects of a diet with a moderate reduction of dietary crude protein (CP) level, supplemented with five crystalline amino acids (Lys, Met, Thr, Try, and Val), on the growth, metabolism, and fecal microbiota of Sushan nursery pigs. Seventy Sushan nursery pigs with an average body weight of 19.56 ± 0.24 kg were randomly allocated to two experimental dietary treatments: 18% CP (high protein; group HP), and 15% CP (low protein; group LP). We found that the differences in the two diets had no significant effect on the growth performance of Sushan nursery pigs. Nursery pigs on the 15% CP diet showed significantly improved protein, amino acid, and energy utilization. Furthermore, the LP diet cloud optimized the gut microflora composition to some extent. The functional structure of bacterial communities implied improved metabolic capabilities in group LP. Additionally, correlation analysis between fecal microbiota and metabolic profiles confirmed that the increase of beneficial bacterial in the feces was beneficial to the health and metabolism of the nursery pigs. In conclusion, a moderate reduction in the dietary protein level can improve growth and metabolism due to the improvement of intestinal microbiota in Sushan nursery pigs. This finding could provide useful reference data for the application of a different nutrition strategy in indigenous pig production. Full article
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Article
Determination of Seroprevalence of Contagious Caprine Pleuropneumonia and Associated Risk Factors in Goats and Sheep Using Classification and Regression Tree
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041165 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 950
Abstract
Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis is a potentially powerful tool for identifying risk factors associated with contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and the important interactions between them. Our objective was therefore to determine the seroprevalence and identify the risk factors associated with CCPP [...] Read more.
Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis is a potentially powerful tool for identifying risk factors associated with contagious caprine pleuropneumonia (CCPP) and the important interactions between them. Our objective was therefore to determine the seroprevalence and identify the risk factors associated with CCPP using CART data mining modeling in the most densely sheep- and goat-populated governorates. A cross-sectional study was conducted on 620 animals (390 sheep, 230 goats) distributed over four governorates in the Nile Delta of Egypt in 2019. The randomly selected sheep and goats from different geographical study areas were serologically tested for CCPP, and the animals’ information was obtained from flock men and farm owners. Six variables (geographic location, species, flock size, age, gender, and communal feeding and watering) were used for risk analysis. Multiple stepwise logistic regression and CART modeling were used for data analysis. A total of 124 (20%) serum samples were serologically positive for CCPP. The highest prevalence of CCPP was between aged animals (>4 y; 48.7%) raised in a flock size ≥200 (100%) having communal feeding and watering (28.2%). Based on logistic regression modeling (area under the curve, AUC = 0.89; 95% CI 0.86 to 0.91), communal feeding and watering showed the highest prevalence odds ratios (POR) of CCPP (POR = 3.7, 95% CI 1.9 to 7.3), followed by age (POR = 2.1, 95% CI 1.6 to 2.8) and flock size (POR = 1.1, 95% CI 1.0 to 1.2). However, higher-accuracy CART modeling (AUC = 0.92, 95% CI 0.90 to 0.95) showed that a flock size >100 animals is the most important risk factor (importance score = 8.9), followed by age >4 y (5.3) followed by communal feeding and watering (3.1). Our results strongly suggest that the CCPP is most likely to be found in animals raised in a flock size >100 animals and with age >4 y having communal feeding and watering. Additionally, sheep seem to have an important role in the CCPP epidemiology. The CART data mining modeling showed better accuracy than the traditional logistic regression. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Small Ruminants)
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Article
Effects of Different Patterns and Sources of Trace Elements on Laying Performance, Tissue Mineral Deposition, and Fecal Excretion in Laying Hens
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041164 - 19 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 911
Abstract
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of different patterns and sources of Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, and Se on performance, mineral deposition (liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen, pectorals muscle, and tibia), and excretion of laying hens, then to find an optimal dietary [...] Read more.
This study was conducted to investigate the effects of different patterns and sources of Zn, Fe, Cu, Mn, and Se on performance, mineral deposition (liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen, pectorals muscle, and tibia), and excretion of laying hens, then to find an optimal dietary supplemental pattern of trace elements in laying hens. A total of 864 healthy laying hens with similar laying rate (Roman, 26-week-old) were randomly divided into nine treatments, with six replications of 16 birds per replication, including a control treatment and four patterns with different element sources (inorganic or organic): (1) Control treatment (basic diet without added extra trace minerals, CT); pattern 1, NRC (1994) recommended level (NRC-L): (2) inorganic minerals of NRC-L pattern (IN), (3) organic minerals of NRC-L pattern (ON); pattern 2, NY/T 33-2004 recommended level (NY/T-L): (4) inorganic minerals of NY/T-L pattern (IY), (5) organic minerals of NY/T-L pattern (OY); pattern 3, 50% NRC (1994) recommended level (50% NRC-L): (6) inorganic minerals of 50% NRC-L pattern (IHN), (7) organic minerals of 50% NRC-L pattern (OHN); pattern 4, the ratio of minerals in blood of laying hens was taken as the supplement proportion of trace elements, and Zn was supplemented depended on NRC recommended level (TLB): (8) inorganic minerals of TLB pattern (IB), (9) organic minerals of TLB pattern (OB). Two weeks were allowed for adjustment to the conditions and then measurements were made over eight weeks. Supplementation of trace elements led to increased daily egg weight (p < 0.05). Patterns of minerals in diets affected the content of liver Mn, pancreas Mn, tibia Mn, and the tissues Se (p < 0.05). Sources of minerals had positive effects on daily egg weight (p < 0.05), the concentrations of liver Fe, kidney Cu, tissues Se (except spleen), and fecal Se (p < 0.05). In conclusion, diet supplemented with the organic trace minerals of 50% NRC-L pattern (OHN) in laying hens promoted optimum laying performance, mineral deposition, and reduced mineral excretion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Poultry)
Article
The Iron Age Dogs from Alaybeyi Höyük, Eastern Anatolia
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1163; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041163 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
To date, little is known about the biological and cultural status of Iron Age dogs in Anatolia. Here, we present a zooarchaeological study of an assemblage of 143 Iron Age dog bones, including two dog skeletons, unearthed from the 2016 and 2017 salvage [...] Read more.
To date, little is known about the biological and cultural status of Iron Age dogs in Anatolia. Here, we present a zooarchaeological study of an assemblage of 143 Iron Age dog bones, including two dog skeletons, unearthed from the 2016 and 2017 salvage excavations at Alaybeyi Höyük, Eastern Anatolia. At least eight adults and one juvenile individual, along with a large number of miscellaneous specimens, were identified. The morphological status of the Alaybeyi dogs were primarily compared to previously published Iron Age dogs from Yoncatepe in Eastern Anatolia, and with the average mean of 18 modern dog breeds. Unlike in other Eastern Anatolian Iron Age sites, butcher marks were observed in some specimens, indicating at least occasional cynophagy at the site. Noticeable pathologies were found in about 5% of the sample, particularly pathologies of the oral cavity and dentitions, suggesting that some of the dogs at Alaybeyi Höyük might have been undernourished, had to live on solid food, and probably injured by humans. The results of this study reflect both the morphological and biological status of Alaybeyi dogs, as well as the Alaybeyi people’s attitudes toward dogs, adding vital information to the very limited archaeological knowledge of dogs in Anatolia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human-Animal-Environment Relationship in the Past)
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Article
Thermoregulatory and Feeding Behavior under Different Management and Heat Stress Conditions in Heifer Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) in the Tropics
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1162; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041162 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1042
Abstract
In the wake of climate change and global warming, the production systems of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are receiving increasing attention in the tropics, where the silvopastoral systems can improve animal welfare and production conditions. The objective of this study was [...] Read more.
In the wake of climate change and global warming, the production systems of water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis) are receiving increasing attention in the tropics, where the silvopastoral systems can improve animal welfare and production conditions. The objective of this study was to characterize the behavior of heifer buffaloes in a silvopastoral system (SPS) with Leucaena leucocephala (600 trees/ha) and in a conventional system (CVS), under intense heat stress and moderate heat stress in Cuba. We observed nine animals, with an average weight of 167.9 kg at the beginning of the study, during the daylight period, from 6:00 to 18:00 h, at 10 min intervals, for 12 days. Activities recorded were grazing, ingestion of tree leaves, rumination, water intake, walking, lying, standing, sheltering in the shade of trees, and wallowing. Sheltering in the shade of trees and wallowing were collectively considered as thermoregulatory behavior (TB). TB was different in both systems and conditions of heat stress (p < 0.05), with 4.06 in CVS and 3.81 h in SPS in the intense heat stress period, while it was 2.91 and 1.08 h for SPS and CVS, respectively, during the moderate heat stress period. The wallowing activity showed statistically significant differences (p < 0.05) in the intense heat stress season with 1.18 and 2.35 h for SPS and CVS, respectively. Time spent on feeding behavior was highest in the SPS system (p < 0.05). Longer times of thermoregulatory and feeding behavior indicate the importance of trees in animal welfare for this species in tropical conditions, thus supporting avoided deforestation and the replanting of trees in existing production systems and landscapes. Full article
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Article
Remarkable Cryptic Diversity of Paratylenchus spp. (Nematoda: Tylenchulidae) in Spain
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041161 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 885
Abstract
In previous studies, fifteen species of Paratylenchus, commonly known as pin nematodes, have been reported in Spain. These plant-parasitic nematodes are ectoparasites with a wide host range and global distribution. In this research, 27 populations from twelve Paratylenchus species from 18 municipalities [...] Read more.
In previous studies, fifteen species of Paratylenchus, commonly known as pin nematodes, have been reported in Spain. These plant-parasitic nematodes are ectoparasites with a wide host range and global distribution. In this research, 27 populations from twelve Paratylenchus species from 18 municipalities in Spain were studied using morphological, morphometrical and molecular data. This integrative taxonomic approach allowed the identification of twelve species, four of them were considered new undescribed species and eight were already known described. The new species described here are P. caravaquenus sp. nov., P. indalus sp. nov., P. pedrami sp. nov. and P. zurgenerus sp. nov. As for the already known described species, five were considered as first reports for the country, specifically P.enigmaticus, P. hamatus, P. holdemani, P. israelensis, and P. veruculatus, while P. baldaccii, P. goodeyi and P. tenuicaudatus had already been recorded in Spain. This study provides detail morphological and molecular data, including the D2-D3 expansion segments of 28S rRNA, ITS rRNA, and partial mitochondrial COI regions for the identification of different Paratylenchus species found in Spain. These results confirm the extraordinary cryptic diversity in Spain and with examples of morphostatic speciation within the genus Paratylenchus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nematode Taxonomy and Biodiversity)
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Article
Muscle Cortisol Levels, Expression of Glucocorticoid Receptor and Oxidative Stress Markers in the Teleost Fish Argyrosomus regius Exposed to Transport Stress
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1160; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041160 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1066
Abstract
Fish commercial transport is an ordinary practice in the aquaculture industry. This study aimed to investigate the effect of a 48 h transport stress on stress response of meagre (Argyrosomus regius) juveniles. Radioimmunoassay (RIA) and Real-Time PCR were used to evaluate [...] Read more.
Fish commercial transport is an ordinary practice in the aquaculture industry. This study aimed to investigate the effect of a 48 h transport stress on stress response of meagre (Argyrosomus regius) juveniles. Radioimmunoassay (RIA) and Real-Time PCR were used to evaluate muscle cortisol levels and to assess glucocorticoid receptor (gr) gene expression in fish muscle and liver, respectively. Presence and localization of various oxidative stress markers were investigated in different tissues by immunohistochemistry. A significant increase in muscle cortisol levels was observed after loading but a significant decrease occurred after 16 h from departure even without returning to control levels. Molecular analysis on stress response revealed an increase in muscle gr expression after fish loading that started decreasing during the travel returning to the control level at the end of the transport. Instead, no differences in liver gr expression were observed along the different sampling points. Immunostaining for heat shock protein 70 (HSP70), 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE), nitrotyrosine (NT) and 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) antibodies was detected in several organs. Notably, a higher NT immunostaining intensity was evident in skin and gills of the transported animals with respect to controls. Results demonstrated that cortisol and gr are useful indicators of stressful conditions in transported fish. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Morpho-Physiological Evaluation of Fish Welfare)
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Review
Supplementing Trace Minerals to Beef Cows during Gestation to Enhance Productive and Health Responses of the Offspring
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1159; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041159 - 18 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1152
Abstract
Nutritional management during gestation is critical to optimize the efficiency and profitability of beef production systems. Given the essentiality of trace minerals to fetal developmental processes, their supplementation represents one approach to optimize offspring productivity. Our research group investigated the impacts of supplementing [...] Read more.
Nutritional management during gestation is critical to optimize the efficiency and profitability of beef production systems. Given the essentiality of trace minerals to fetal developmental processes, their supplementation represents one approach to optimize offspring productivity. Our research group investigated the impacts of supplementing gestating beef cows with organic-complexed (AAC) or inorganic sources (INR) of Co, Cu, Mn, or Zn on productive and health responses of the progeny. Calves born to AAC supplemented cows had reduced incidence of bovine respiratory disease and were >20 kg heavier from weaning until slaughter compared to unsupplemented cohorts. Complementing these findings, heifer progeny born to AAC supplemented cows had accelerated puberty attainment. Collectively, research demonstrates supplementing trace minerals to gestating beef cows may be a strategy to enhance offspring productivity in beef production systems. Full article
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Article
Histological Study of Suprabranchial Chamber Membranes in Anabantoidei and Clariidae Fishes
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1158; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041158 - 17 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1026
Abstract
Accessory respiratory organs (AROs) are a group of anatomical structures found in fish, which support the gills and skin in the process of oxygen uptake. AROs are found in many fish taxa and differ significantly, but in the suborder Anabantoidei, which has a [...] Read more.
Accessory respiratory organs (AROs) are a group of anatomical structures found in fish, which support the gills and skin in the process of oxygen uptake. AROs are found in many fish taxa and differ significantly, but in the suborder Anabantoidei, which has a labyrinth organ (LO), and the family Clariidae, which has a dendritic organ (DO), these structures are found in the suprabranchial cavity (SBC). In this study, the SBC walls, AROs, and gills were studied in anabantoid (Betta splendens, Ctenopoma acutirostre, Helostoma temminckii) and clariid (Clarias angolensis, Clarias batrachus) fishes. The histological structure of the investigated organs was partially similar, especially in relation to their connective tissue core; however, there were noticeable differences in the epithelial layer. There were no significant species-specific differences in the structure of the AROs within the two taxa, but the SBC walls had diversified structures, depending on the observed location. The observed differences between species suggest that the remarkable physiological and morphological plasticity of the five investigated species can be associated with structural variety within their AROs. Furthermore, based on the observed histology of the SBC walls, it is reasonable to conclude that this structure participates in the process of gas exchange, not only in clariid fish but also in anabantoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microscopic Structure Research in Animals)
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Article
Effects of Incorporating Dry Matter Intake and Residual Feed Intake into a Selection Index for Dairy Cattle Using Deterministic Modeling
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041157 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1471
Abstract
The inclusion of feed efficiency in the breeding goal for dairy cattle has been discussed for many years. The effects of incorporating feed efficiency into a selection index were assessed by indirect selection (dry matter intake) and direct selection (residual feed intake) using [...] Read more.
The inclusion of feed efficiency in the breeding goal for dairy cattle has been discussed for many years. The effects of incorporating feed efficiency into a selection index were assessed by indirect selection (dry matter intake) and direct selection (residual feed intake) using deterministic modeling. Both traits were investigated in three ways: (1) restricting the trait genetic gain to zero, (2) applying negative selection pressure, and (3) applying positive selection pressure. Changes in response to selection from economic and genetic gain perspectives were used to evaluate the impact of including feed efficiency with direct or indirect selection in an index. Improving feed efficiency through direct selection on residual feed intake was the best scenario analyzed, with the highest overall economic response including favorable responses to selection for production and feed efficiency. Over time, the response to selection is cumulative, with the potential for animals to reduce consumption by 0.16 kg to 2.7 kg of dry matter per day while maintaining production. As the selection pressure increased on residual feed intake, the response to selection for production, health, and fertility traits and body condition score became increasingly less favorable. This work provides insight into the potential long-term effects of selecting for feed efficiency as residual feed intake. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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Article
Diversification of Morphological Features of the Dark European Honey Bee of the ‘Augustow M’ Line
Animals 2021, 11(4), 1156; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani11041156 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 751
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate the diversification of morphological features of the Dark European honey bee of the Augustow M line. The authors studied the proboscis length and cubital index, as features determining the affiliation to the species; the width [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate the diversification of morphological features of the Dark European honey bee of the Augustow M line. The authors studied the proboscis length and cubital index, as features determining the affiliation to the species; the width of tergite 4 and the sum of widths of tergites 3 + 4, as indicators of the bee body size; and the length and width of the right forewing. They compared bees sampled from (1) the “lead apiary”, (2) “associate apiaries” and (3) “conservation area apiaries”—apiaries situated in the conservation area established by the national program for the conservation of genetic resources of this bee line. The conclusion was that it is possible to protect bees of the Augustow M line under the existing program, based on resources available to the lead, associate and conservation area apiaries. The bees studied have the essential features of the Dark European honey bee and the values of parameters tested are consistent with the morphological feature references valid for Apis m. mellifera. On the other hand, based on the authors’ research and on other studies described in literature of 1960s, there is a dwarfing trend in the Dark European honey bee of the Augustow M line. Full article
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