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Animals, Volume 12, Issue 22 (November-2 2022) – 164 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The Thoroughbred is the ultimate equine athlete, with hooves that support galloping forces at racing speeds. At birth, each hoof is mediolaterally symmetrical. Reshaping of the neonatal hoof to form the mature hoof begins as soon as the hoof comes into contact with the ground. In the first year of life, the hooves change shape, grow, thicken, compress, change their angle and structure. In healthy foals, uneven mediolateral loading in standing can stimulate changes that produce the typical asymmetric hooves seen in mature Thoroughbreds. Flexural deformity in foals leads to greater dorsal loading, potentially impacting hoof growth. Early identification and treatment is beneficial for these foals. View this paper
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24 pages, 2059 KiB  
Article
Demographic Analysis of Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) in the South Pacific Ocean
by Hoang Huy Huynh, Chun-Yi Hung and Wen-Pei Tsai
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3229; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223229 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2654
Abstract
The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) demonstrates low productivity and is thus relatively sensitive to fishing. Natural mortality (M) and fishing mortality (F) data are critical to determine their population dynamics. However, catch and fishing effort data [...] Read more.
The shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) demonstrates low productivity and is thus relatively sensitive to fishing. Natural mortality (M) and fishing mortality (F) data are critical to determine their population dynamics. However, catch and fishing effort data are unavailable for this species in the South Pacific Ocean, making stock assessments difficult. Demographic quantitative methods aid in analyzing species with limited data availability. We used a two-sex stage-structured matrix population model to examine the demographic stock status of mako sharks. However, data-limited models to determine fishery management strategies have limitations. We performed Monte Carlo simulations to evaluate the effects of uncertainty on the estimated mako shark population growth rate. Under unfished conditions, the simulations demonstrated that the mako sharks showed a higher finite population growth rate in the 2-year reproductive cycle compared to the 3-year reproductive cycle. Protecting immature mako sharks led to a higher population growth rate than protecting mature mako sharks. According to the sex-specific data, protecting immature male and female sharks led to a higher population growth rate than protecting mature male and female sharks. In conclusion, sex-specific management measures can facilitate the sustainable mako shark conservation and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sharks and Skates: Ecology, Distribution and Conservation)
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13 pages, 276 KiB  
Article
Impact of Lower Airway Inflammation on Fitness Parameters in Standardbred Racehorses
by Chiara Maria Lo Feudo, Luca Stucchi, Bianca Conturba, Giovanni Stancari and Francesco Ferrucci
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3228; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223228 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1422
Abstract
Mild–moderate equine asthma (MEA) is a common respiratory disorder among racehorses, characterized by lower airway inflammation. Although it is generally agreed that MEA causes poor performance, contrasting results have been reported about the effects of tracheal mucus and the leukocyte populations of the [...] Read more.
Mild–moderate equine asthma (MEA) is a common respiratory disorder among racehorses, characterized by lower airway inflammation. Although it is generally agreed that MEA causes poor performance, contrasting results have been reported about the effects of tracheal mucus and the leukocyte populations of the bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) on performance. This study aims to investigate the associations between airway inflammation and fitness parameters measured during an incremental treadmill test on Standardbred racehorses. For this purpose, the clinical records of 116 Standardbreds subjected to a diagnostic protocol for poor performance were retrospectively reviewed. Parametric and nonparametric statistics were used to evaluate the relationships between endoscopic scores, BAL cytological results, and fitness parameters. Moreover, horses were divided into MEA and non-MEA groups and into neutrophilic, eosinophilic–mastocytic, and mixed MEA groups; fitness parameters were compared between groups. Neutrophils percentages were inversely correlated with the speed at a heart rate of 200 bpm, the speed and heart rate at a plasma lactate concentration of 4 mmol/L (VLa4 and HRLa4), and the maximal speed, while they were positively correlated with higher lactate concentrations. Moreover, significant differences were detected between different MEA subtypes concerning VLa4, HRLa4, and lactate concentrations. These results suggest that airway neutrophilic inflammation impairs athletic capacity in Standardbreds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on the Factors Affecting the Performance of Sport Horses)
19 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
Implications of Salinity and Acidic Environments on Fitness and Oxidative Stress Parameters in Early Developing Seahorses Hippocampus reidi
by Mario D. D. Carneiro, Sergio García-Mesa, Luis A. Sampaio and Miquel Planas
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3227; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223227 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1603
Abstract
Water acidification affects aquatic species, both in natural environmental conditions and in ex situ rearing production systems. The chronic effects of acidic conditions (pH 6.5 vs. pH 8.0) in seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are not well known, especially when coupled with salinity interaction. [...] Read more.
Water acidification affects aquatic species, both in natural environmental conditions and in ex situ rearing production systems. The chronic effects of acidic conditions (pH 6.5 vs. pH 8.0) in seahorses (Hippocampus spp.) are not well known, especially when coupled with salinity interaction. This study investigated the implications of pH on the growth and oxidative stress in the seahorse Hippocampus reidi (Ginsburg, 1933), one of the most important seahorse species in the ornamental trade. Two trials were carried out in juveniles (0–21 and 21–50 DAR—days after the male’s pouch release) reared under acid (6.5) and control (8.0) pH, both in brackish water (BW—salinity 11) and seawater (SW—salinity 33). In the first trial (0–21 DAR), there was no effect of pH on the growth of seahorses reared in SW, but the survival rate was higher for juveniles raised in SW at pH 6.5. However, the growth and survival of juveniles reared in BW were impaired at pH 6.5. Compared to SW conditions, the levels of superoxide dismutase and DT-diaphorase, as well as the oxidative stress index, increased for juveniles reared in BW. In the second trial, seahorse juveniles were reared in SW at pH 8.0, and subsequently kept for four weeks (from 21 to 50 DAR) at pH 6.5 and 8.0. The final survival rates and condition index were similar in both treatments. However, the growth under acidic conditions was higher than at pH 8.0. In conclusion, this study highlights that survival, growth, and oxidative status condition was enhanced in seahorse juveniles reared in SW under acidic conditions (pH = 6.5). The concurrent conditions of acidic pH (6.5) and BW should be avoided due to harmful effects on the fitness and development of seahorse juveniles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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16 pages, 2857 KiB  
Article
Environmental Niche Modelling Predicts a Contraction in the Potential Distribution of Two Boreal Owl Species under Different Climate Scenarios
by Kristina Cerman, Draženko Rajković, Biljana Topić, Goran Topić, Peter Shurulinkov, Tomaž Mihelič and Juan D. Delgado
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3226; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223226 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2176
Abstract
Studying current and future geographic distribution is essential for conserving endangered species such as the Boreal Owl and Eurasian Pygmy Owl. The main aim of this study was to determine the potential distribution of both species in the Balkan Peninsula by using spatial [...] Read more.
Studying current and future geographic distribution is essential for conserving endangered species such as the Boreal Owl and Eurasian Pygmy Owl. The main aim of this study was to determine the potential distribution of both species in the Balkan Peninsula by using spatial distribution models (SDMs) in MaxEnt. We used data from field surveys, the scientific and grey literature, and an online database. We considered the current time and two future periods, 2041–2060 and 2061–2080. For future periods, we included different climate scenarios (SSP 126, 245, 370, and 585) in studying the potential geographic distribution of both species. We identified two types of potential future refugia for species: in situ and ex situ. Our study shows the highly suitable area for the Boreal Owl increased during the 2041–2060 period compared with the current area in all scenarios, except in SSP 585. However, during the 2061–2080 period, the highly suitable areas contracted. For the Eurasian Pygmy Owl, highly suitable areas decreased during 2041–2060, but during the 2061–2080 period, it was larger than the current area. Our study is of importance for conservation and preserving areas of potential distribution and refugia for Boreal and Eurasian Pygmy Owls in the face of climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Owls' Responses to Environmental Challenges)
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9 pages, 2203 KiB  
Article
Unravelling the Role of Metabolites for Detecting Physiological State of Wild Animals: European Rabbit’s (Oryctolagus cuniculus) Case
by Pablo Jesús Marín-García, Lola Llobat, Carlos Rouco, Juan Antonio Aguayo-Adán, Torben Larsen, Maria Cambra-López, Enrique Blas and Juan José Pascual Amorós
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3225; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223225 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1893
Abstract
European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has been defined as a keystone species in the Mediterranean ecosystem. Rabbits have been classed as “endangered” by the IUCN within their native range. In this sense, animal nutrition may play a fundamental and limiting role [...] Read more.
European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has been defined as a keystone species in the Mediterranean ecosystem. Rabbits have been classed as “endangered” by the IUCN within their native range. In this sense, animal nutrition may play a fundamental and limiting role in the conservation of wild species. The overarching goal of ecological nutrition is to unravel the extensive web of nutritional links that direct animals in their interactions with their ecological environments. The main aim of this work was to evaluate the effect of different feed intake, geographic location, animal sex, and reproductive stage on glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), and plasmatic urea nitrogen (PUN), albumin, glutamate, and total protein metabolites. Additionally, we examined the potential of these metabolites as biomarkers. Full stomach contents and blood samples were collected from European wild rabbits (n = 89) for the analysis of the metabolites described above. Our work shows that the levels of these metabolites are affected by the sex of the animals, as well as by their reproductive stage (glucose, NEFA and albumin). There were signs of better optimisation of resources by females than by other groups of animals. These data may be interesting in the study of nutritional components that could be affecting physiological state of this species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Recent Advance in Wildlife Conservation)
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21 pages, 1608 KiB  
Article
Relationship between the Dynamics of Gross Composition, Free Fatty Acids and Biogenic Amines, and Microbial Shifts during the Ripening of Raw Ewe Milk-Derived Idiazabal Cheese
by Gorka Santamarina-García, Gustavo Amores, Emma López de Armentia, Igor Hernández and Mailo Virto
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223224 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1920
Abstract
This study reports for the first time the relationship between bacterial succession, characterized by high-throughput sequencing (sequencing of V3–V4 16S rRNA regions), and the evolution of gross composition, free fatty acids (FFAs) and biogenic amines (BAs) during cheese ripening. Specifically, Idiazabal PDO cheese, [...] Read more.
This study reports for the first time the relationship between bacterial succession, characterized by high-throughput sequencing (sequencing of V3–V4 16S rRNA regions), and the evolution of gross composition, free fatty acids (FFAs) and biogenic amines (BAs) during cheese ripening. Specifically, Idiazabal PDO cheese, a raw ewe milk-derived semi-hard o hard cheese, was analysed. Altogether, 8 gross parameters were monitored (pH, dry matter, protein, fat, Ca, Mg, P and NaCl) and 21 FFAs and 8 BAs were detected. The ripening time influenced the concentration of most physico-chemical parameters, whereas the producer mainly affected the gross composition and FFAs. Through an O2PLS approach, the non-starter lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillus, Enterococcus and Streptococcus were reported as positively related to the evolution of gross composition and FFAs release, while only Lactobacillus was positively related to BAs production. Several environmental or non-desirable bacteria showed negative correlations, which could indicate the negative impact of gross composition on their growth, the antimicrobial effect of FFAs and/or the metabolic use of FFAs by these genera, and their ability to degrade BAs. Nonetheless, Obesumbacterium and Chromohalobacter were positively associated with the synthesis of FFAs and BAs, respectively. This research work provides novel information that may contribute to the understanding of possible functional relationships between bacterial communities and the evolution of several cheese quality and safety parameters. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Products)
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18 pages, 2465 KiB  
Article
The Usefulness of Serum Brain Damage Biomarkers in Detection and Evaluation of Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy in Calves with Perinatal Asphyxia
by Mahmut Ok, Amir Naseri, Mehmet Burak Ates, Merve Ider, Kamil Uney, Mutlu Sevinc, Fatih Hatipoglu, Ramazan Yildiz, Alper Erturk, Nuri Baspinar and Suleyman Serhat Iyigun
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3223; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223223 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
The purpose of the present study was to determine hypoxic brain damage in calves with perinatal asphyxia using brain-specific damage biomarkers. Ten healthy and 25 calves with perinatal asphyxia were enrolled in the study. Clinical examination, neurological status score, and laboratory analysis were [...] Read more.
The purpose of the present study was to determine hypoxic brain damage in calves with perinatal asphyxia using brain-specific damage biomarkers. Ten healthy and 25 calves with perinatal asphyxia were enrolled in the study. Clinical examination, neurological status score, and laboratory analysis were performed at admission, 24, 48, and 72 h. Serum concentrations of ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolysis 1 (UCHL1), calcium-binding protein B (S100B), adrenomodullin (ADM), activitin A (ACTA), neuron-specific enolase (NSE), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and creatine kinase-brain (CK-B) were measured. Histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations of the brain tissue were performed in 13 nonsurvivor calves. The neurological status score of the calves with asphyxia was significantly (p < 0.05) lower. Mix metabolic-respiratory acidosis and hypoxemia were detected in calves with asphyxia. Serum UCHL1 and S100B were significantly (p < 0.05) increased, and NSE, ACTA, ADM, and CK-B were decreased (p < 0.05) in calves with asphyxia. Histopathological and immunohistochemical examinations confirmed the development of mild to severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. In conclusion, asphyxia and hypoxemia caused hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in perinatal calves. UCHL1 and S100B concentrations were found to be useful markers for the determination of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in calves with perinatal asphyxia. Neurological status scores and some blood gas parameters were helpful in mortality prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Veterinary Clinical Studies)
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10 pages, 1330 KiB  
Article
Plastic Debris in Nests of Two Water Bird Species Breeding on Inland Saline Lakes in a Mediterranean Biosphere Reserve
by Álvaro Luna, José A. Gil-Delgado and Edgar Bernat-Ponce
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3222; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223222 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2300
Abstract
Despite more studies being carried out to know the impacts associated with plastic debris and much effort being spent on marine ecosystems, the impacts of plastics on terrestrial and freshwater species remain largely unknown. Here, we explored the presence of anthropogenic materials in [...] Read more.
Despite more studies being carried out to know the impacts associated with plastic debris and much effort being spent on marine ecosystems, the impacts of plastics on terrestrial and freshwater species remain largely unknown. Here, we explored the presence of anthropogenic materials in nests of two wader species, the gull-billed tern (Gelochelidon nilotica) and the black-winged stilt (Himantopus himantopus), breeding on the inland salt lakes in the “La Mancha Húmeda” Biosphere Reserve, Central Spain. We revealed the presence of anthropogenic debris, mainly macroplastics (>5 mm), in 2.4% and 12.5% of the sampled nests of the gull-billed tern and the black-winged stilt, respectively. The fragments found in nests ranged from 8 mm to 257 mm for the gull-billed tern and from 7 mm to 19 mm for the black-winged stilt. This debris showed no clear pattern of color or size and probably originated both in the agricultural activities in the surroundings and domestic refuse. Although we did not detect any pernicious impacts on adults or chicks (e.g., entangled, injured, or dead individuals), the presence of plastics and other human waste directly placed in nests located in a protected area should warn us about the ubiquity of these pollutants, and the endocrine and immunological effects, among others, that may reduce the recruitment of new animals to the population should be assessed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Ecology, Management and Conservation of Vertebrates)
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18 pages, 1832 KiB  
Article
Yeast Products Mediated Ruminal Subenvironmental Microbiota, and Abnormal Metabolites and Digestive Enzymes Regulated Rumen Fermentation Function in Sheep
by Manchun Su, Huihui Wang, Huibin Shi, Qiao Li, Yong Zhang, Taotao Li and Youji Ma
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3221; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223221 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2924
Abstract
Yeast products (YP) are commonly used as rumen regulators, but their mechanisms of action are still unclear. Based on our previous studies, we questioned whether yeast products would have an impact on rumen solid-associated (SA) and liquid-associated (LA) microorganisms and alter rumen fermentation [...] Read more.
Yeast products (YP) are commonly used as rumen regulators, but their mechanisms of action are still unclear. Based on our previous studies, we questioned whether yeast products would have an impact on rumen solid-associated (SA) and liquid-associated (LA) microorganisms and alter rumen fermentation patterns. Thirty 3-month-old male sheep weighing 19.27 ± 0.45 kg were selected and randomized into three groups for 60 days: (1) basal diet group (CON group), (2) basal diet add 20 g YP per day (low YP, LYP group) and (3) basal diet add 40 g YP per day (high YP, HYP group). The results demonstrated that the addition of YP increased rumen cellulase activity, butyrate and total volatile fatty acid (TVFA) concentrations (p < 0.05), while it decreased rumen amylase activity and abnormal metabolites, such as lactate, lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and histamine (HIS) (p < 0.05). Metagenomic analysis of rumen microorganisms in three groups revealed that YP mainly influenced the microbial profiles of the SA system. YP increased the relative abundance of R. flavefaciens and decreased methanogens in the SA system (p < 0.05). With the addition of YP, the abundance of only a few lactate-producing bacteria increased in the SA system, including Streptococcus and Lactobacillus (p < 0.05). However, almost all lactate-utilizing bacteria increased in the LA system, including Megasphaera, Selenomonas, Fusobacterium and Veillonella (p < 0.05). In addition, YP increased the abundance of certain GHs family members, including GH43 and GH98 (p < 0.05), but decreased the abundance of some KEGG metabolic pathways involved in starch and sucrose metabolism, biosynthesis of antibiotics and purine metabolism, among others. In conclusion, the addition of YP to high-concentrate diets can change the abundance of major functional microbiota in the rumen, especially in the solid fraction, which in turn affects rumen fermentation patterns and improves rumen digestibility. Full article
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15 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
Hazelnut Skin in Ewes’ Diet: Effects on Colostrum Immunoglobulin G and Passive Transfer of Immunity to the Lambs
by Irene Viola, Paolo Tizzani, Giovanni Perona, Carola Lussiana, Antonio Mimosi, Patrizia Ponzio and Paolo Cornale
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3220; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223220 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
Passive immunity transfer has a pivotal role in newborn lambs, where the colostrum represents the primary source of immunoglobulins. This study hypothesized that the high content in polyphenolic compounds, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamin E of hazelnut skin affects blood and [...] Read more.
Passive immunity transfer has a pivotal role in newborn lambs, where the colostrum represents the primary source of immunoglobulins. This study hypothesized that the high content in polyphenolic compounds, mono- and poly-unsaturated fatty acids, and vitamin E of hazelnut skin affects blood and colostrum immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentration and related gamma-glutamyl-transferase (GGT) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels in sheep and their lambs. In the last 45 days of pregnancy, ewes were divided into a control (CTR) and a hazelnut skin supplemented group (HZN). Blood and colostrum were collected from ewes and lambs before the first suckling, at 24 and 48 h after birth, then IgG concentration, GGT and LDH activity levels were measured. IgG concentration in the colostrum and in lamb’s serum were significantly greater in HZN than CTR. No significant difference was detected for ewe’s blood. A significant positive correlation was found between IgG and GGT in lambs’ serum and colostrum, between IgG and LDH, as well as between GGT and LDH in lambs’ serum and colostrum. Our results suggest that hazelnut skin supplementation influences IgG colostrum concentration, with improved immune passive transfer to the suckling lambs. The transfer of maternal derived immune factors is confirmed by the GGT and LDH enzyme activity levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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12 pages, 1353 KiB  
Article
Effects of Compound Probiotics on Growth Performance, Serum Biochemical and Immune Indices, Antioxidant Capacity, and Intestinal Tissue Morphology of Shaoxing Duck
by Hanxue Sun, Tiantian Gu, Guoqin Li, Li Chen, Yong Tian, Wenwu Xu, Tao Zeng and Lizhi Lu
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223219 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of compound probiotics on growth performance, serum biochemical and immune indices, antioxidant capacity, and the intestinal tissue morphology of Shaoxing ducks. A total of 640 1-day-old healthy Shaoxing ducks of similar body weight were randomly [...] Read more.
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of compound probiotics on growth performance, serum biochemical and immune indices, antioxidant capacity, and the intestinal tissue morphology of Shaoxing ducks. A total of 640 1-day-old healthy Shaoxing ducks of similar body weight were randomly divided into two treatment groups with eight replicates each and forty ducks per replicate. The ducks were fed a basal diet (Ctrl) or a basal diet supplemented with 0.15% compound probiotics (CP) for 125 d. The results revealed that the live body weight (BW; day 85 and 125) and the average daily gain (ADG; 28–85 and 85–125 d) of the CP group were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of the Ctrl group. In the CP group, total protein and total cholesterol contents were significantly increased (p < 0.05) on days 28 and 85, while triglyceride and low-density lipoprotein contents were significantly decreased (p < 0.05) on day 85. Furthermore, interferon-γ content was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the CP group on days 28, 85, and 125. Interleukin-2 content was significantly increased (p < 0.05) in the CP group on days 28 and 85. Interleukin-4 content was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) in the CP group on day 85. Moreover, in the CP group, superoxide dismutase content was significantly increased (p < 0.05) on days 28 and 125, and glutathione peroxidase content was significantly increased (p < 0.05) on day 125. The crypt depth (CD) in the duodenum of the CP group was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) on days 28 and 125, whereas the villus height (VH) in the jejunum of the CP group was significantly increased (p < 0.05) on days 85 and 125. The VH/CD ratio in the ileum of the CP group was significantly increased (p < 0.05) on days 28 and 85. The VH in the ileum of the CP group was significantly increased (p < 0.05) on day 28. The CD in the ileum of the CP group was significantly decreased (p < 0.05) on day 28. In summary, the compound probiotics improved the growth performance, increased serum biochemical and immune indices, increased antioxidant capacity, and improved the intestinal tissue morphology of Shaoxing ducks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Application of Antibiotic Alternatives in the Poultry Industry)
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12 pages, 961 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Riboflavin Supplementation on the Growth Performance, Body Composition and Anti-Oxidative Capacity of Coho Salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) Post-Smolts
by Hai-Rui Yu, Meng-Jie Guo, Le-Yong Yu, Ling-Yao Li, Qing-He Wang, Fang-Hui Li, Yu-Zhuo Zhang, Jia-Yi Zhang and Ji-Yun Hou
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3218; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223218 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
The present study investigated the effects of dietary riboflavin on growth performance, body composition and anti-oxidative capacity of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) post-smolts. Seven experimental diets were formulated with graded riboflavin levels of 0.00, 3.96, 8.07, 16.11, 31.81, 63.67 and 126.69 [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the effects of dietary riboflavin on growth performance, body composition and anti-oxidative capacity of coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) post-smolts. Seven experimental diets were formulated with graded riboflavin levels of 0.00, 3.96, 8.07, 16.11, 31.81, 63.67 and 126.69 mg/kg, respectively. Each diet was fed to triplicate groups of 10 fish with an individually initial mean body weight of 186.22 ± 0.41 g in 21 cages (water volume, 1000-L/cage) and fed three times daily (7:30, 12:30 and 17:30) to apparent satiation for 12 weeks. Fish fed a diet with 31.81 mg/kg riboflavin had the highest specific growth rate (SGR), which was significantly higher than fish-fed diets with 0.00, 3.96, 8.07 and 126.69 mg/kg riboflavin (p < 0.05). Feed conversion ratio showed an inverse trend with SGR. No significant differences were observed in condition factor, hepatosomatic index, viscerosomatic index, muscle moisture, crude protein and ash contents among dietary groups. Muscle lipid had the highest content in the 31.81 mg/kg group and was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those in the 0.00, 3.96 and 8.07 mg/kg groups. The alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase and malondialdehyde contents in the liver and serum of fish were significantly decreased with the increase in dietary riboflavin level up to 31.81 mg/kg, and then increased as dietary riboflavin level further increased. An inverse trend was observed for total superoxide dismutase and catalase activities. Serum total cholesterol and triglyceride levels were significantly decreased with the dietary of riboflavin levels up to 31.81 and 63.67 mg/kg, respectively. The cubic curve regression analysis based on SGR indicated that the optimum dietary riboflavin level was estimated to be 35.26 mg/kg for coho salmon post-smolts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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19 pages, 1928 KiB  
Article
Preliminary Study on Species Diversity and Community Characteristics of Gamasid Mites on Small Mammals in Three Parallel Rivers Area of China
by Juan-Xiu Zhou, Xian-Guo Guo, Wen-Yu Song, Cheng-Fu Zhao, Zhi-Wei Zhang, Rong Fan, Ting Chen, Yan Lv, Peng-Wu Yin and Dao-Chao Jin
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3217; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223217 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1525
Abstract
(1) Background: Gamasid mites are a large group of arthropods, and some of them are of medical importance. Besides directly biting humans and causing dermatitis, some gamasid mites are the vector of rickettsialpox and potential vector of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Gamasid mites are a large group of arthropods, and some of them are of medical importance. Besides directly biting humans and causing dermatitis, some gamasid mites are the vector of rickettsialpox and potential vector of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS). The Three Parallel Rivers Area of China is one of the hotspots of biodiversity research in the world, with complicated topographic landforms, different types of vegetation, special elevation gradients and high biodiversity. (2) Methods: Species richness (S): the Shannon–Wiener diversity index (H), Simpson dominance index (D) and Pielou evenness index (E) were used to analyze the basic community structure. The β diversity (Cody index) was used to reflect the diversity difference between any two adjacent elevation gradients. The method based on Preston’s lognormal model for species abundance distribution was used to estimate the total number of gamasid mite species. (3) Results: A total of 3830 small mammal hosts captured from the nine survey sites were identified as 44 species, 27 genera and nine families in five orders. Apodemus chevrieri, Eothenomys miletus and A. draco were the dominant host species with a total constituent ratio Cr = 52.037%. From the body surface of the hosts, 26,048 gamasid mites were collected and identified as 10 families, 21 genera and 82 species (excluding 847 unidentified specimens) with high species richness (S = 82) and diversity (H = 2.33). The three dominant mite species were Dipolaelaps anourosorecis, Laelaps nuttalli and L. echidninus, with a total Cr = 64.46% (16,791/26,048). There are significant differences in the species composition, species diversity and dominant species of gamasid mites on different hosts. The species diversity of the mite community fluctuated greatly in different elevation gradients. The highest peaks of species richness and β diversity appeared at altitudes of 3000–3500 m (S = 42) and 1500–2000 m (β = 17.5), respectively. The species abundance distribution of the mites was successfully fitted by Preston’s lognormal model with S^(R)=19e[0.22(R0)]2 (α = 0.22, R2 = 0.9879). Based on fitting the theoretical curve by Preston’s model, the total number of gamasid mite species was estimated to be 153 species. (4) Conclusions: Gamasid mites on small mammals are abundant with complex community structures and high species diversity in the Three Parallel Rivers Area of China. There is an apparent community heterogeneity of the mites on different hosts and in different environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Mammals)
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14 pages, 1262 KiB  
Article
Effect of Dietary Pomelo Peel Powder on Growth Performance, Diarrhea, Immune Function, Antioxidant Function, Ileum Morphology, and Colonic Microflora of Weaned Piglets
by Yan Zeng, Xinrui Dai, Qingju Chen, Yubo Liu, Ziema Bumbie Gifty, Weizhong Sun and Zhiru Tang
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3216; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223216 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1843
Abstract
This trial evaluated how dietary-accommodated pomelo peel powder (PPP) affected average daily feed intake (ADFI) and average daily gain (ADG), diarrhea, antioxidation, and colonic microbial in weaned piglets. Thirty piglets weaned at 28 d were divided into three groups: a basal diet (CON); [...] Read more.
This trial evaluated how dietary-accommodated pomelo peel powder (PPP) affected average daily feed intake (ADFI) and average daily gain (ADG), diarrhea, antioxidation, and colonic microbial in weaned piglets. Thirty piglets weaned at 28 d were divided into three groups: a basal diet (CON); a CON containing 75 mg/kg chlortetracycline (CTC); and a CON containing 8 g/kg (PPP). This trial had a period of 28 days. Piglets supplemented with PPP had higher ADFI and ADG than piglets in CTC and CON (p < 0.05). The diarrhea rate in PPP and CTC was lower than in CON in the 3rd and 4th weeks (p < 0.05). Serum superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase enzyme activities, and total antioxidant capacity in PPP were higher than those in CON (p < 0.05). Serum interleukin (IL)-4, insulin-like growth factor-I, immunoglobulin (Ig)A, and IgG concentrations in the PPP and CTC groups were higher than those in the CON group (p < 0.05). Serum IL-1β, IL-8, IL-17, and interferon (IFN)-γ concentrations and the cecal pH in PPP were lower than those in CON (p < 0.05). Serum IL-1β, IFN-γ, and IgA concentrations of piglets in PPP were lower than in CTC (p < 0.05). The villus height and villus height/crypt depth of the ileum of piglets in PPP and CTC were higher than those in CON (p < 0.05), but there was no difference between PPP and CTC (p > 0.05). The Firmicutes and Cyanobacteria relative abundances in PPP and CTC (p < 0.05) were lower than those in CON, whereas the Bacteroidetes relative abundances in PPP and CTC were higher than those in CON. The Prevotellaceae relative abundance in CTC was higher than in CON (p < 0.05), whereas the Lactobacillaceae relative abundance in CTC was lower than in CON (p < 0.05). The Ruminococcaceae relative abundance in PPP was higher than in CON (p < 0.05), whereas the Veillonellaceae relative abundance in PPP was lower than in CON (p < 0.05). PPP can improve ADFI and ADG, relieve diarrhea, and enhance the colonic microflora of weaned piglets. Therefore, PPP is expected to replace CTC as a feed additive to alleviate weaning stress and ensure normal growth and development of piglets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrient Digestion Kinetics in Pigs and Poultry)
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21 pages, 2928 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Oregano Essential Oil on Cecal Microorganisms and Muscle Fatty Acids of Luhua Chickens
by Tao Wu, Farong Yang, Ting Jiao and Shengguo Zhao
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3215; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223215 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1546
Abstract
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of oregano essential oil on the cecal microorganisms and muscle fatty acids of Luhua chickens. One hundred and twenty 49-day-old healthy dewormed Luhua chickens were randomly divided into four groups with three replicates per group [...] Read more.
This experiment was conducted to investigate the effects of oregano essential oil on the cecal microorganisms and muscle fatty acids of Luhua chickens. One hundred and twenty 49-day-old healthy dewormed Luhua chickens were randomly divided into four groups with three replicates per group and ten chickens per replicate. The corn–quinoa and soybean meal diets were supplemented with 0 (Q8 group), 50 (QO50 group), 100 (QO100 group) and 150 mg·kg−1 (QO150 group) of oregano essential oil, respectively, and the experiment lasted for 75 days. The composition of intestinal flora was detected by Illumina sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4 region, and the composition and content of fatty acids in the muscles were analyzed by gas chromatography. The results showed that dietary oregano essential oil can effectively increase the contents of elaidic acid (C18:ln9t), polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 PUFAs) in breast muscle tissues. However, the fatty acid composition and PUFA content in leg muscle tissues were not significantly improved. According to a 16S rRNA high-throughput sequencing analysis, dietary oregano essential oil supplementation with a certain concentration can change the cecal microbial community composition of broilers. At the phylum level, Elusimicrobia in the QO150 group was significantly lower than that in Q8 group (p < 0.05). At the genus level, Phascolarctobacterium, Parasutterella and Bilophila in the experimental groups (QO50, QO100 and QO150) were significantly lower than those in the Q8 group (p < 0.05). An enrichment analysis of the microbial function found that the amino acid metabolism, energy metabolism, metabolism, signal transduction and genetic information processing were mainly enriched in the experimental groups, which promoted the digestion and absorption of nutrients and enhanced intestinal barrier functioning. An analysis of the association between fatty acids and microbes found that the abundance of microbiota was significantly correlated with partially saturated fatty acids (SFAs) and unsaturated fatty acids (UFAs) (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the dietary addition of oregano essential oil can effectively improve cecal microbial community composition, promote the digestion and absorption of nutrients, and enhance intestinal barrier functioning. It can significantly improve the content of some fatty acids, and there was a certain correlation between caecum microorganisms and fatty acid deposition in muscles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Birds)
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17 pages, 2834 KiB  
Study Protocol
Revealing Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Endangered Altay White-Headed Cattle Population Using 100 k SNP Markers
by Bo Liu, Weikun Tao, Donghe Feng, Yue Wang, Nazigul Heizatuola, Tenes Ahemetbai and Weiwei Wu
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223214 - 20 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1619
Abstract
Understanding the genetic basis of native cattle populations that have adapted to the local environment is of great significance for formulating appropriate strategies and programs for genetic improvement and protection. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the genetic diversity and population structure of [...] Read more.
Understanding the genetic basis of native cattle populations that have adapted to the local environment is of great significance for formulating appropriate strategies and programs for genetic improvement and protection. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the genetic diversity and population structure of Altay white-headed cattle so as to meet the current production needs under various environments, carry out continuous genetic improvement, and promote rapid adaptation to changing environments and breeding objectives. A total of 46 individual samples of endangered Xinjiang Altay white-headed cattle were collected in this study, including nine bulls and 37 cows. To collect genotype data, 100 k SNP markers were used, and then studies of genetic diversity, genetic structure, inbreeding degree, and family analysis were carried out. A total of 101,220 SNP loci were detected, and the genotype detection rate for individuals was ≥90%. There were 85,993 SNP loci that passed quality control, of which 93.5% were polymorphic. The average effective allele number was 0.036, the Polymorphism Information Content was 0.304 and the minimum allele frequency was 0.309, the average observed heterozygosity was 0.413, and the average expected heterozygosity was 0.403. The average genetic distance of Idengtical By State (IBS) was 0.3090, there were 461 ROH (genome-length homozygous fragments), 76.1% of which were between 1 and 5 MB in length, and the average inbreeding coefficient was 0.016. The 46 Altay white-headed cattle were divided into their families, and the individual numbers of each family were obviously different. To sum up, the Altay white-headed cattle conservation population had low heterozygosity, a high inbreeding degree, few families, and large differences in the number of individuals in each family, which can easily cause a loss of genetic diversity. In the follow-up seed conservation process, seed selection and matching should be carried out according to the divided families to ensure the long-term protection of Altay white-headed cattle genetic resources. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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10 pages, 1352 KiB  
Article
Transportation Stress Increases Fos Immunoreactivity in the Paraventricular Nucleus, but Not in the Nucleus of the Hippocampal Commissure in the Pekin Duck, Anas platyrhynchos domesticus
by Sara Tonissen, Victoria Tetel and Gregory S. Fraley
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3213; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223213 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Commercial poultry undergo transportation during their life, and the effects of transportation can negatively impact poultry production and welfare. In order to maintain physiological homeostasis, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) works to respond to stressors. Previous studies by others have shown contradictory effects of [...] Read more.
Commercial poultry undergo transportation during their life, and the effects of transportation can negatively impact poultry production and welfare. In order to maintain physiological homeostasis, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) works to respond to stressors. Previous studies by others have shown contradictory effects of transportation on corticosterone release. However, recent studies from our lab and by others have shown that cortisol may also be an important hormone in the avian HPA. The purpose of our current study was to determine the effects of transportation stress on the stimulation of brain nuclei that regulate the HPA in birds, and on glucocorticoid (GC) secretion. To test this hypothesis, we collected blood and brain samples from developer drakes and hens (N = 10 per sex/time point): 24 h prior to transportation, immediately after transportation, 24 h after transportation, and 1 week after transportation. Serum GC levels and fos immunocytochemistry (ICC) within the nucleus of the hippocampal commissure (NHpC) and paraventricular nucleus (PVN) were measured. Data were analyzed using a two-way ANOVA. Post hoc analysis was completed using a Fisher’s PLSD with a p < 0.05 considered significant. We observed a sex difference (p < 0.05) in both corticosterone and cortisol secretion in Pekin ducks, although neither GC showed a significant increase in secretion associated with transportation. However, we did observe a significant (p < 0.05) increase in fos-like immunoreactivity for 24 h in the PVN, but not in the NHpC. Further studies are required to determine the specific role that GCs play in the avian stress response and the short-term stressors that could have long-term physiological effects on birds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
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11 pages, 1170 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) Supplementation on the Blood Parameters of Young Thoroughbred Racehorses
by Maria Soroko-Dubrovina, Wanda Górniak, Paulina Zielińska, Aleksander Górniak, Nina Čebulj-Kadunc and Mariusz Korczyński
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3212; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223212 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 2470
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) supplementation on the hematology and biochemical blood parameters of young Thoroughbred racehorses. The study was conducted with 20 horses divided into two groups: the supplemented and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of shiitake mushroom (Lentinula edodes) supplementation on the hematology and biochemical blood parameters of young Thoroughbred racehorses. The study was conducted with 20 horses divided into two groups: the supplemented and the control group. The supplemented group was given 30 g of L. edodes daily for four months. One blood sample was collected four times from each horse at four-week intervals. The hematology analysis in the supplemented group showed a higher level of monocytes at day 56 when compared to the control group (p = 0.000986). Biochemical analysis showed that alkaline phosphatase is most sensitive to shiitake mushroom supplementation, with statistically significant lower levels in supplemented group compared to the control group on all individual days of blood sampling. It was also found that supplementation had an effect on the decrease of glucose levels on days 28 (p = 0.009109) and 56 y (p = 0.025749), on reduction aspartate aminotransferase level on day 56 (p = 0.017258) and a decrease of lactic acid on day 28 of sampling (p = 0.037636). Cholesterol levels decreased consistently in all individual days of blood sampling. Further studies are needed to show the influence of supplementation with shiitake mushroom in larger groups of horses over a longer period. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Equids)
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15 pages, 1355 KiB  
Article
Dietary Supplementation of Fruit from Nitraria tangutorum Improved Immunity and Abundance of Beneficial Ruminal Bacteria in Hu Sheep
by Xia Du, Xindong Cheng, Qiaoxia Dong, Jianwei Zhou, Abraham Allan Degen, Dan Jiao, Kaixi Ji, Yanping Liang, Xiukun Wu and Guo Yang
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3211; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223211 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1758
Abstract
The fruit of Nitraria tangutorum (FNT) is reputed to possess medicinal properties; however, its effect on sheep (Ovis aries) is unknown. The aim of this study was to fill this gap. In a 3 × 3 Latin square design, six 12-month-old [...] Read more.
The fruit of Nitraria tangutorum (FNT) is reputed to possess medicinal properties; however, its effect on sheep (Ovis aries) is unknown. The aim of this study was to fill this gap. In a 3 × 3 Latin square design, six 12-month-old rumen-fistulated Hu rams (56.2 ± 8.26 kg; mean ± SD) were penned individually and offered one of three levels of FNT, namely, 0 g/d (control; CON), 16 g/d (N16), and 48 g/d (N48). The concentration of serum immunoglobulin G increased linearly (p = 0.03) with an increasing intake of FNT. The serum concentration of β-hydroxybutyrate in the N48 group was lower than in the CON group (p = 0.01) and decreased linearly with increasing FNT (p = 0.001). The concentration of serum lactate dehydrogenase tended to decrease (p = 0.07) linearly with an increase in FNT intake, while the concentration of glucose did not differ among groups (p = 0.14) but displayed a quadratic curve with an increase in FNT (p = 0.05). The rumen concentration of lipase decreased linearly with increasing FNT (p = 0.04). The rumen fermentation variables were not affected by FNT. The FNT intake increased the abundance of beneficial ruminal bacteria, such as Lachnoclostridium, Rhodocyclaceae, and Candidatus Arthromitus. Prevotella, Rikenellaceae_RC9_gut_group, Ruminococcus, Olsenella, Lachnospiraceae_NK3A20_group, and Quinella were the dominant bacterial genera in all treatments. We conclude that FNT can improve immunity and increase the relative abundance of beneficial ruminal bacteria in sheep. Full article
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13 pages, 2014 KiB  
Article
The Potential of Bemegride as an Activation Agent in Electroencephalography in Dogs
by Junya Hirashima, Miyoko Saito and Minoru Yokomori
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3210; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223210 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1595
Abstract
The present study investigated the potential of bemegride as a pharmacological activation agent that elicits epileptiform discharges (EDs) in interictal electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings in dogs. Four laboratory dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and four without epilepsy were included. The dogs were anesthetized using sevoflurane [...] Read more.
The present study investigated the potential of bemegride as a pharmacological activation agent that elicits epileptiform discharges (EDs) in interictal electroencephalogram (EEG) recordings in dogs. Four laboratory dogs with idiopathic epilepsy and four without epilepsy were included. The dogs were anesthetized using sevoflurane during EEG recordings. Bemegride was administered intravenously and repeatedly until EDs were enhanced or induced, or until the maximum dose (20 mg/kg) had been administered. Bemegride activated EDs in all dogs with epilepsy. These EDs predominantly occurred in each dog’s spontaneous irritative zones, which were identified without the administration of bemegride. EDs occurred after the administration of bemegride in 50% of dogs without epilepsy. The dose required for activation was significantly lower in dogs with epilepsy (median; 7.3 mg/kg) than in those without (median; 19.7 mg/kg) (p = 0.0294). The only suspected adverse effect associated with the administration of bemegride was vomiting in two dogs after awakening from anesthesia. There were no other adverse effects, including seizures. The present results demonstrated the potential of bemegride as a safe and effective pharmacological activation agent of EDs in anesthetized dogs with epilepsy and provided more options for the diagnosis and therapeutic planning of epilepsy, including presurgical evaluations, in dogs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Companion Animal Disease Diagnosis and Treatment)
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11 pages, 1700 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Territorial Vocalization of the Pheasants Phasianus colchicus
by Piotr Czyżowski, Sławomir Beeger, Mariusz Wójcik, Dorota Jarmoszczuk, Mirosław Karpiński and Marian Flis
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3209; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223209 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1238
Abstract
The aim of the study was to assess the impact of the duration of the mating season and the time of day on the parameters of the vocalization pheasants (duration of vocalization, frequency of the sound wave, intervals between vocalizations). In the study, [...] Read more.
The aim of the study was to assess the impact of the duration of the mating season and the time of day on the parameters of the vocalization pheasants (duration of vocalization, frequency of the sound wave, intervals between vocalizations). In the study, pheasant vocalization recorded in the morning (600–800) and in the afternoon (1600–1800) between April and June 2020 was analyzed. In total, the research material consisted of 258 separate vocalizations. After recognition of the individual songs of each bird, frequency-time indicators were collected from the samples to perform statistical analysis of the recorded sounds. The duration of the first syllable [s], the duration of the second syllable [s], the duration of the pause between the syllables [s], the intervals between successive vocalizations [min], and the peak frequency of the syllables I and II [Hz] were specified for each song. The duration of the syllables and the pauses between the syllables and vocalizations were determined through evaluation of spectrograms. The peak amplitude frequencies of the syllables were determined via time-frequency STFT analysis. Statistically significant differences in the distributions of the values of all variables between the analyzed months were demonstrated. The longest duration of total vocalization and the shortest time between vocalizations were recorded in May. Therefore, this month is characterized by the highest frequency and longest duration of vocalization, which is related to the peak of the reproductive period. The time of day was found to exert a significant effect on all variables except the duration of syllable II. The duration of vocalization was significantly shorter in the morning, which indicates that the cooks are more active at this time of day in the study area. The highest peak amplitude frequencies of both syllables were recorded in April, but they decreased in the subsequent months of observation. The time of day was also shown to have an impact on the peak amplitude frequencies, which had the highest values in the morning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Birds)
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10 pages, 479 KiB  
Article
A Note on the Conditioning of the H−1 Matrix Used in Single-Step GBLUP
by Mohammad Ali Nilforooshan
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3208; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223208 - 19 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1053
Abstract
The single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) is used worldwide for the simultaneous genetic evaluation of genotyped and non-genotyped animals. It is easily extendible to all BLUP models by replacing the pedigree-based additive genetic relationship matrix (A) with an augmented pedigree–genomic relationship matrix [...] Read more.
The single-step genomic BLUP (ssGBLUP) is used worldwide for the simultaneous genetic evaluation of genotyped and non-genotyped animals. It is easily extendible to all BLUP models by replacing the pedigree-based additive genetic relationship matrix (A) with an augmented pedigree–genomic relationship matrix (H). Theoretically, H does not introduce any artificially inflated variance. However, inflated genetic variances have been observed due to the incomparability between the genomic relationship matrix (G) and A used in H. Usually, G is blended and tuned with A22 (the block of A for genotyped animals) to improve its numerical condition and compatibility. If deflation/inflation is still needed, a common approach is weighting G1A221 in the form of τG1ωA221, added to A1 to form H1. In some situations, this can violate the conditional properties upon which H is built. Different ways of weighting the H1 components (A1, G1, A221, and H1 itself) were studied to avoid/minimise the violations of the conditional properties of H. Data were simulated on ten populations and twenty generations. Responses to weighting different components of H1 were measured in terms of the regression of phenotypes on the estimated breeding values (the lower the slope, the higher the inflation) and the correlation between phenotypes and the estimated breeding values (predictive ability). Increasing the weight on H1 increased the inflation. The responses to weighting G1 were similar to those for H1. Increasing the weight on A1 (together with A221) was not influential and slightly increased the inflation. Predictive ability is a direct function of the slope of the regression line and followed similar trends. Responses to weighting G1A221 depend on the inflation/deflation of evaluations from A1 to H1 and the compatibility of the two matrices with the heritability used in the model. One possibility is a combination of weighting G1A221 and weighting H1. Given recent advances in ssGBLUP, conditioning H1 might become an interim solution from the past and then not be needed in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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20 pages, 1310 KiB  
Review
Breeding Ewe Lambs: An Australasian Perspective
by Paul R. Kenyon and Rene A. Corner-Thomas
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223207 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1941
Abstract
A number of potential advantages have been identified for breeding ewe lambs at 7 to 9 months of age, including increased lifetime productivity and profitability. However, breeding at this young age in extensive pastoral systems, such as in Australasia, can be associated with [...] Read more.
A number of potential advantages have been identified for breeding ewe lambs at 7 to 9 months of age, including increased lifetime productivity and profitability. However, breeding at this young age in extensive pastoral systems, such as in Australasia, can be associated with a number of disadvantages resulting in uptake of this management procedure being relatively low. This review highlights the known differences between ewe lamb and mature ewe reproductive performance, thus differing in their management. The review then summaries the scientific literature of factors that affect ewe lamb reproductive success, with a focus on recent studies conducted under extensive pasture-based conditions in Australasia. In particular, this review outlines the importance of ewe lamb live weight and body condition score on their productivity. The potential long-term consequences of breeding a ewe lamb at a young age in terms of her future success and that of her offspring to weaning are briefly outlined. In addition, the potential impacts of selecting progeny born to ewe lambs as future replacement ewes are discussed. Throughout this review, optimal management guidelines from prior to breeding the ewe lambs until rebreeding at 2 years of age are provided. Lastly, areas requiring future research are identified and discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hogget Production and Longevity)
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18 pages, 2399 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Spray-Dried Bovine Hemoglobin Powder as a Dietary Animal Protein Source in Nile Tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus
by Shimaa A. Amer, Mahmoud Farahat, Tarek Khamis, Samar A. Abdo, Elsayed M. Younis, Abdel-Wahab A. Abdel-Warith, Rehab Reda, Sozan A. Ali, Simon J. Davies and Rowida E. Ibrahim
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3206; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223206 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2044
Abstract
The present study evaluated the potential effects of dietary inclusion of spray-dried bovine hemoglobin powder (SDBH) on the growth, gene expression of peptide and amino acid transporters, insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and myostatin, digestive enzymes activity, intestinal histomorphology and immune [...] Read more.
The present study evaluated the potential effects of dietary inclusion of spray-dried bovine hemoglobin powder (SDBH) on the growth, gene expression of peptide and amino acid transporters, insulin growth factor-1 (IGF-1) and myostatin, digestive enzymes activity, intestinal histomorphology and immune status, immune-related gene expression, and economic efficiency in Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Two hundred twenty-five fingerlings (32.38 ± 0.05 g/fish) were distributed into five treatments with five dietary inclusion levels of SDBH: 0, 2.5, 5, 7.5, and 10% for a ten-week feeding period. Dietary inclusion of SDBH linearly increased the final body weight (FBW), total weight gain (TWG), specific growth rate (SGR), and protein efficiency ratio (PER). Additionally, a linear decrease in feed conversion ratio (FCR) and daily feed intake relative to the daily BW was reported in the highest inclusion levels (7.5 and 10%). Dietary inclusion of SDBH was associated with a significant increase in the intestinal villous height (VH), villous width (VW), villous height: crypt depth ratio (VH: CD), and muscle coat thickness (MCT), with the highest values reported in SDBH7.5 group. Increased serum growth hormone levels and decreased serum leptin hormone levels were also reported by increasing the SDBH level. The serum glucose level was decreased in the SDBH7.5 and SDBH10 groups. The digestive enzymes’ activity (amylase and protease) was increased by increasing the SDBH inclusion level. An up-regulation in the expression of peptide and amino acid transporters, IGF-1, and down-regulation of myostatin was reported in the SDBH2.5 to SDBH7.5 groups. Spleen sections showed more lymphoid elements, especially in the SDBH2.5 and SDBH7.5 groups. The SDBH inclusion increased the serum lysozyme activity, nitric oxide (NO), and complement 3 (C3) levels, with the highest values recorded in the SDBH5 group. The phagocytic % and the phagocytic index were increased by increasing the SDBH inclusion %. The expressions of immune-related genes (transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-β), Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), and interleukin 10 (IL10)) were up-regulated by SDBH inclusion with the highest expression in the SDBH5 group. Economically, the feed costs and feed costs/kg gain were linearly decreased in the SDBH7.5 and SDBH10 diets. In conclusion, spray-dried bovine hemoglobin powder could be used as a protein source for up to 10% of the diets of Nile tilapia for better growth and immune status of fish. Full article
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17 pages, 993 KiB  
Review
Progress of Studies on Plant-Derived Polysaccharides Affecting Intestinal Barrier Function in Poultry
by Shiwei Guo, Yuanyuan Xing, Yuanqing Xu, Xiao Jin, Sumei Yan and Binlin Shi
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3205; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223205 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1679
Abstract
As natural bioactive components, plant-derived polysaccharides have many biological functions, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticoccidial, and immunity regulation, and have been widely used in poultry production. In this review paper, firstly, the sources and structures of plant-derived polysaccharides are reviewed; secondly, the effects [...] Read more.
As natural bioactive components, plant-derived polysaccharides have many biological functions, such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticoccidial, and immunity regulation, and have been widely used in poultry production. In this review paper, firstly, the sources and structures of plant-derived polysaccharides are reviewed; secondly, the effects of plant-derived polysaccharides on the intestinal microbiome, permeability, morphology and immune function of poultry are summarized; thirdly, the potential molecular regulation mechanism of plant-derived polysaccharides on the intestinal barrier function of poultry was preliminarily analyzed. The review paper will bring a basis for the scientific utilization of plant-derived polysaccharides in the poultry industry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Poultry Feeding and Gut Health)
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10 pages, 6144 KiB  
Article
Comparison of the Mineral Profile of Two Types of Horse Diet, Silage and Commercial Concentrate, and Their Impacts on Hoof Tensile Strength
by Gabriel Rueda-Carrillo, René Rosiles-Martínez, Luis Corona-Gochi, Anaid Hernández-García, Gabriela López-Navarro and Francisco Trigo-Tavera
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3204; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223204 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1726
Abstract
The type of diet that a horse consumes is one of the most important factors determining the mineral profile and tensile strength of its hooves, so the quality and nutritional value of the supplied feed are fundamental to achieving satisfactory hoof quality. The [...] Read more.
The type of diet that a horse consumes is one of the most important factors determining the mineral profile and tensile strength of its hooves, so the quality and nutritional value of the supplied feed are fundamental to achieving satisfactory hoof quality. The objective of this study was to compare the differences in the mineral concentrations of sodium (Na), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), zinc (Zn), and Iron (Fe) between two diets, namely silage and a commercial concentrate, using atomic absorption spectrometry and to determine which led to higher increases in the hoof tensile strength of horses consuming these diets. Thirty-two Spanish horses were randomly divided into two groups, where the diet of the horses in group 1 was silage oat hay, and that of the horses in group 2 was a commercial concentrate and oat hay. Both diets were provided for 12 months. The hoof tensile strength was then measured using an Instron universal testing machine. Mg and Fe levels were higher (p < 0.05) in the silage than in the commercial concentrate, and hoof Mg, Zn, K, and tensile strength were also influenced by the hormonal stage (p < 0.05). The type of diet directly affected the hoof Mg, Zn, K, Na, and tensile strength (p < 0.05), which Mg, K and Na were higher in horses fed with concentrate. It was found that for each unit of Zn (μg/g and Na (μg/g)), in the hoof, the tensile strength is affected by −0.10 N/mm2 and −0.003 N/mm2, respectively for each mineral. Full article
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13 pages, 808 KiB  
Article
In Vitro Antimicrobial Activity of Piper betle Leaf Extract and Some Topical Agents against Methicillin-Resistant and Methicillin-Susceptible Staphylococcus Strains from Canine Pyoderma
by Patcharaporn Phensri, Kokaew Thummasema, Udomlak Sukatta, Serge Morand and Chantima Pruksakorn
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223203 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1952
Abstract
As multidrug-resistant methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) is becoming more prevalent in canine pyoderma, the discovery of new therapeutic options is required. This study aimed to test the antimicrobial activity of crude Piper betle leaf extract and some topical antimicrobial agents against canine Staphylococcus clinical [...] Read more.
As multidrug-resistant methicillin-resistant staphylococci (MRS) is becoming more prevalent in canine pyoderma, the discovery of new therapeutic options is required. This study aimed to test the antimicrobial activity of crude Piper betle leaf extract and some topical antimicrobial agents against canine Staphylococcus clinical strains by determining the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC). The results showed that the mean MICs of chlorhexidine, miconazole, crude P. betle leaf extract, azelaic acid, and benzoyl peroxide against Staphylococcus strains were 1.41, 1.62, 252.78, 963.49, and 1342.70 mg/L, respectively. Therefore, betel leaf extract demonstrated a superior efficacy to azelaic acid and benzoyl peroxide. Furthermore, the ratio of MBC/MIC of betel leaf extract was 1.75, indicating its bactericidal action. When applied to methicillin-resistant S. pseudintermedius (MRSP) and methicillin-susceptible S. pseudintermedius (MSSP), betel leaf extract was equally efficient towards both groups. S. pseudintermedius strains were more susceptible to betel leaf extract than S. schleiferi subsp. coagulans. In gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis, eugenol and hydroxychavicol appeared to be the major components of betel leaf extract. Given its efficacy, dogs with pyoderma could benefit from the use of betel leaf extract as a topical antimicrobial alternative. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
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9 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
Retrospective Molecular Survey on Bacterial and Protozoan Abortive Agents in Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus) from Central Italy
by Valentina Virginia Ebani, Chiara Trebino, Lisa Guardone, Fabrizio Bertelloni, Giulia Cagnoli, Iolanda Altomonte, Paolo Vignola, Paolo Bongi and Francesca Mancianti
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3202; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223202 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1298
Abstract
Bacterial and protozoan agents can determine abortion and other reproductive disorders in domestic ruminants, but data regarding their occurrence in wild ruminants are scanty worldwide, including in Italy. The aim of this retrospective study was to verify the occurrence of the main bacterial [...] Read more.
Bacterial and protozoan agents can determine abortion and other reproductive disorders in domestic ruminants, but data regarding their occurrence in wild ruminants are scanty worldwide, including in Italy. The aim of this retrospective study was to verify the occurrence of the main bacterial and protozoan abortive agents in 72 spleen samples previously collected from roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) living in mountain areas of Central Italy. All samples were collected and submitted to DNA extraction for other investigations. Molecular analyses were carried out on the DNA samples to detect Brucella spp., Chlamydia abortus, Coxiella burnetii, Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, Neospora caninum, and Toxoplasma gondii. Three (4.16%) roe deer resulted PCR positive for C. burnetii and one (1.38%) for T. gondii. These findings suggest that roe deer living in the investigated areas do not act as important reservoirs of the searched agents. However, the tested animals lived in a closed area without contact with domestic animals that are usually involved in the epidemiology of the investigated pathogens. Monitoring of wild ruminants is pivotal to verify changes in the epidemiological scenario from a One Health perspective, too. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Infectious Diseases and Surveillance of Farm and Wild Animals)
17 pages, 2957 KiB  
Article
The Relationship between Brachionus calyciflorus-Associated Bacterial and Bacterioplankton Communities in a Subtropical Freshwater Lake
by Yongzhi Zhang, Sen Feng, Fan Gao, Hao Wen, Lingyun Zhu, Meng Li, Yilong Xi and Xianling Xiang
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223201 - 18 Nov 2022
Viewed by 1646
Abstract
Zooplankton bodies are organic-rich micro-environments that support fast bacterial growth. Therefore, the abundance of zooplankton-associated bacteria is much higher than that of free-living bacteria, which has profound effects on the nutrient cycling of freshwater ecosystems. However, a detailed analysis of associated bacteria is [...] Read more.
Zooplankton bodies are organic-rich micro-environments that support fast bacterial growth. Therefore, the abundance of zooplankton-associated bacteria is much higher than that of free-living bacteria, which has profound effects on the nutrient cycling of freshwater ecosystems. However, a detailed analysis of associated bacteria is still less known, especially the relationship between those bacteria and bacterioplankton. In this study, we analyzed the relationships between Brachionus calyciflorus-associated bacterial and bacterioplankton communities in freshwater using high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that there were significant differences between the two bacterial communities, with only 29.47% sharing OTUs. The alpha diversity of the bacterioplankton community was significantly higher than that of B. calyciflorus-associated bacteria. PCoA analysis showed that the bacterioplankton community gathered deeply, while the B. calyciflorus-associated bacterial community was far away from the whole bacterioplankton community, and the distribution was relatively discrete. CCA analysis suggested that many environmental factors (T, DO, pH, TP, PO43-, NH4+, and NO3-) regulated the community composition of B. calyciflorus-associated bacteria, but the explanatory degree of variability was only 37.80%. High-throughput sequencing revealed that Raoultella and Delftia in Proteobacteria were the dominant genus in the B. calyciflorus-associated bacterial community, and closely related to the biodegradation function. Moreover, several abundant bacterial members participating in carbon and nitrogen cycles were found in the associated bacterial community by network analysis. Predictive results from FAPROTAX showed that the predominant biogeochemical cycle functions of the B. calyciflorus-associated bacterial community were plastic degradation, chemoheterotrophy, and aerobic chemoheterotrophy. Overall, our study expands the current understanding of zooplankton–bacteria interaction and promotes the combination of two different research fields. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Aquatic Animals)
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8 pages, 247 KiB  
Article
Effect of Oxidized β-Carotene on Swine Growth Performance under Commercial Production Conditions in Vietnam
by La Van Kinh, William W. Riley, James G. Nickerson, La Thi Thanh Huyen and Graham W. Burton
Animals 2022, 12(22), 3200; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12223200 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1370
Abstract
The effects of oxidized β-carotene (OxBC) were determined upon the growth performance of swine through their full growth cycle under commercial production conditions in Vietnam. Five hundred 28-day-old-weaned barrows and gilts were used in a 140-day complete wean-to-finish feeding trial. Animals were randomized [...] Read more.
The effects of oxidized β-carotene (OxBC) were determined upon the growth performance of swine through their full growth cycle under commercial production conditions in Vietnam. Five hundred 28-day-old-weaned barrows and gilts were used in a 140-day complete wean-to-finish feeding trial. Animals were randomized by weight, and each pen contained 20 pigs with the same ratio of barrows to gilts. There were five dietary treatment groups with five replicate pens per treatment: Control basal diet, no antibiotics or OxBC; Basal diet with antibiotics; no OxBC; Basal diet supplemented with 2, 4, or 8 mg OxBC/kg of diet, no antibiotics. Growth performance parameters were calculated for each production stage (Starter: Days 1–28, Grower: Days 29–84, Finisher: Days 85–140) and for the overall study (Days 1–140). OxBC and antibiotics each improved growth rate, feed efficiency, and body weight compared to the unsupplemented control (p < 0.001). Animals receiving 4 and 8 mg/kg OxBC performed better than animals on antibiotics (p < 0.001). In Starter pigs, OxBC reduced the occurrence of diarrhea dose-dependently (2, 4, and 8 mg/kg) and more so than did antibiotics (p < 0.001). These findings support the concept that oxidized β-carotene can facilitate swine growth and health in the absence of in-feed antibiotics. Full article
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