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Animals, Volume 12, Issue 7 (April-1 2022) – 143 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): In modern nature conservation and rewilding, there is a need for controlling the movements of large grazers in extensively managed areas. The inflexibility of physical fencing can be a limitation in nature management, and the physical boundaries created by physical fencing can have detrimental effects on wildlife. Virtual fencing provides boundaries without physical barriers. Virtual fencing systems utilize collars with GPS technology to track animals and deliver auditory or electric cues to encourage animals to stay within predefined boundaries. These GPS-based fencing systems have the potential to improve grazing management. This study examines the use of the Nofence© virtual fencing system to keep a group of twelve Angus cows within a virtual enclosure without compromising animal welfare. View this paper
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15 pages, 4478 KiB  
Article
Growth Performance, Bone Development and Phosphorus Metabolism in Chicks Fed Diets Supplemented with Phytase Are Associated with Alterations in Gut Microbiota
by Lan Li, Xiaoyi Zhang, Jiatu Zhang, Meiling Liu, Lihong Zhao, Cheng Ji, Jianyun Zhang, Shimeng Huang and Qiugang Ma
Animals 2022, 12(7), 940; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070940 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2146
Abstract
Phosphorus pollution caused by animal husbandry is becoming increasingly problematic, especially where decreasing and non-renewable phosphorus resources are concerned. We investigated the growth performance, bone development, phosphorus metabolism and gut microbiota changes elicited by different phosphorus levels with/without phytase in chicks during the [...] Read more.
Phosphorus pollution caused by animal husbandry is becoming increasingly problematic, especially where decreasing and non-renewable phosphorus resources are concerned. We investigated the growth performance, bone development, phosphorus metabolism and gut microbiota changes elicited by different phosphorus levels with/without phytase in chicks during the brooding period (1–42 d). Five-hundred-and-forty (540) egg-laying chickens were assigned to six groups (0.13% NPP, 0.29% NPP, 0.45% NPP, 0.13% NPP + P, 0.29% NPP + P and 0.45% NPP + P) according to a factorial design with three non-phytate phosphorus (NPP) levels (0.13, 0.29 and 0.45%) and two phytase (P) dosages (0 and 200 FTU/kg). Chicks fed with the diet with 0.13% NPP had the lowest body weight, average daily gain, shank length, average daily feed intake and highest ratio of feed to gain, while phytase supplementation was able to mitigate the adverse effects of low-phosphorus diets on growth performance. Moreover, phosphorus metabolism was affected by different dietary NPP and phytase levels. Thus, 0.13% NPP significantly reduced serum phosphorus, while phytase supplementation significantly increased serum phosphorus. Notably, phosphorus utilization in the 0.13% NPP group was significantly decreased and the phosphorus excretion ratio was increased. Phytase supplementation significantly improved phosphorus utilization by 43.79% and decreased phosphorus emission in the 0.13% NPP group but not in the 0.29% NPP or the 0.45% NPP group. Remarkably, the alpha diversity of gut microbiota was significantly decreased in the low-phosphorus group, while phytase supplementation increased alpha diversity and improved gut microbial community and function. The LEfSe analysis revealed that several differential genera (e.g., Bacteroides, norank_f__Clostridiales_vadinBB60_group and Eggerthella) were enriched in the different dietary NPP and phytase levels. Furthermore, correlations between differential genera and several crucial phenotypes suggested that the enrichment of beneficial bacteria with different levels of phosphorus and phytase promoted phosphorus utilization in the foregut and hindgut. In summary, low-phosphorus diets inhibited growth performance and bone development, decreased utilization of phosphorus and altered gut microbial structure and function in the brooding stage of chicks. Finally, phytase supplementation improves growth performance and bone development and decreases phosphorus emission, and the potential mechanisms may be associated with the reprogramming of gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Gut and Bone in Health and Disease)
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19 pages, 4338 KiB  
Article
FGF21 Reduces Lipid Accumulation in Bovine Hepatocytes by Enhancing Lipid Oxidation and Reducing Lipogenesis via AMPK Signaling
by Yezi Kong, Chenxu Zhao, Panpan Tan, Siqi Liu, Yan Huang, Fangyuan Zeng, Pingjun Ma, Yazhou Guo, Baoyu Zhao and Jianguo Wang
Animals 2022, 12(7), 939; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070939 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2874
Abstract
During the periparturient period, dairy cows suffer drastic metabolic stress because of plasma increased non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) that stem from a negative energy balance. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a hepatokine that activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway to [...] Read more.
During the periparturient period, dairy cows suffer drastic metabolic stress because of plasma increased non-esterified fatty acids (NEFAs) that stem from a negative energy balance. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a hepatokine that activates the AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) signaling pathway to maintain intracellular energy balance and tissue integrity via the promotion of catabolism and the inhibition of anabolic regulation. FGF21 treatment caused a 50% reduction in triglyceride (TG) content in liver in dairy cows. However, it is not clear whether FGF21 regulates lipid metabolism in bovine liver. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of FGF21 on lipid metabolism via AMPK signaling in bovine hepatocytes. The hepatocytes isolated from calves were treated with different concentrations of FGF21 or co-treated with AMPK inhibitor (BML-275). Herein, the study showed that FGF21 significantly reduced TG content in a dose–response manner and promoted very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) secretion via an up-regulation of the proteins (ApoB 100, ApoE and MTTP) involved in VLDL secretion. Otherwise, the genes associated with lipid transport (LDLR and CD36) and lipid oxidation (PPARGC1A, ACOX1 and CPT1A), were up-regulated following FGF21 treatment. Moreover, FGF21 treatment inhibited lipogenesis via SREBF1, ACACA, FASN and ACLY inhibition. After being co-treated with the AMPK inhibitor, FGF21-induced changes were reversed in some genes. In conclusion, these results indicate that FGF21 adaptively regulates energy metabolism for a negative impact on lipogenesis, strengthens lipid oxidation, and inhibited lipid transportation via AMPK signaling in bovine hepatocytes. The present data suggest the possibility that FGF21 has potential value in alleviating perinatal metabolic diseases in dairy cows, and specific research in vivo should be studied in more detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cattle)
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11 pages, 493 KiB  
Article
A Feline Semiochemical Composition Influences the Cat’s Toileting Location Choice
by Naïma Kasbaoui, Míriam Marcet-Rius, Cécile Bienboire-Frosini, Fanny Menuge, Philippe Monneret, Estelle Descout, Alessandro Cozzi and Patrick Pageat
Animals 2022, 12(7), 938; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070938 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2579
Abstract
Unwanted toileting is amongst the most undesirable behaviors in domestic cats and can lead to conflicts between cats and the communities they are living in. This study aimed to confirm the effect of a semiochemical composition, reconstituted volatile fraction derived from cat anal [...] Read more.
Unwanted toileting is amongst the most undesirable behaviors in domestic cats and can lead to conflicts between cats and the communities they are living in. This study aimed to confirm the effect of a semiochemical composition, reconstituted volatile fraction derived from cat anal glands, on the elimination behavior of domestic cats. A total of 31 cats were tested individually, for 23 h, in a blinded randomized choice test, with two litter trays, one sprayed with the treatment and the other with the control. Parameters included elimination weight, urine only weight, the record of the elimination type and counting of urine spots and stools, exploration duration of each litter tray, and first and second choice of litter tray to eliminate. Across all parameters, cats urinated and defecated significantly less in the litter tray where the semiochemical composition was sprayed than in the litter tray where the control was sprayed (for example: elimination weight p < 0.0001; urine only weight p < 0.0001; exploration duration p < 0.0001, and first elimination choice p < 0.0001). These results demonstrate that a semiochemical composition-derived from cat anal glands significantly decreases elimination at the location where it is sprayed. Future research is warranted to explore the possibility to manage unwanted toileting using this semiochemical composition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cat Behavioural Ecology)
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11 pages, 2452 KiB  
Article
Bisphenol A Interferes with Redox Balance and the Nrf2 Signaling Pathway in Xenopus tropicalis during Embryonic Development
by Hongjun Chen, Keke Zhong, Yongpu Zhang, Lei Xie and Peichao Chen
Animals 2022, 12(7), 937; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070937 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1712
Abstract
Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental estrogen, is widely used and largely released into the hydrosphere, thus inducing adverse effects in aquatic organisms. Here, Xenopus tropicalis was used as an animal model to investigate the oxidative effects of BPA on early embryonic development. BPA [...] Read more.
Bisphenol A (BPA), an environmental estrogen, is widely used and largely released into the hydrosphere, thus inducing adverse effects in aquatic organisms. Here, Xenopus tropicalis was used as an animal model to investigate the oxidative effects of BPA on early embryonic development. BPA exposure prevalently caused development delay and shortened body length. Furthermore, BPA exposure significantly increased the levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and DNA damage in embryos. Thus, the details of BPA interference with antioxidant regulatory pathways during frog early embryonic development should be further explored. Full article
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14 pages, 67774 KiB  
Case Report
Ultrasound Examination of Unilateral Seminoma in a Salernitano Stallion
by Brunella Anna Giangaspero, Roberta Bucci, Francesca Del Signore, Massimo Vignoli, Jasmine Hattab, Gina Rosaria Quaglione, Lucio Petrizzi and Augusto Carluccio
Animals 2022, 12(7), 936; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070936 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2400
Abstract
An 18-year-old Salernitano stallion developed a progressive enlargement of the left testicle over eight months. An ultrasound evaluation was performed, along with a hormonal profile. A histopathological evaluation of the testis was performed after unilateral orchiectomy. On B-mode ultrasound examination, testicular parenchyma was [...] Read more.
An 18-year-old Salernitano stallion developed a progressive enlargement of the left testicle over eight months. An ultrasound evaluation was performed, along with a hormonal profile. A histopathological evaluation of the testis was performed after unilateral orchiectomy. On B-mode ultrasound examination, testicular parenchyma was characterized by the loss of internal structure, with the presence of multiple coalescing, nodular, well-defined and heterogeneous lesions with capsule deformity, appearing with an irregular profile. On dissection, the testicular parenchyma bulged over the cut section, confirming the increase in size. Microscopically, the lesion consisted mainly of large, densely packed, polygonal-to-round-shaped neoplastic cells. Mitotic figures were plentiful and frequently atypical; further microscopic features included apoptosis and necrosis. At immunohistochemistry, the entire neoplasm showed strong and diffuse immunolabeling for vimentin, while CD117-specific immunoreactivity was only observed in scattered clusters of neoplastic cells. Based on the gross, microscopic and IHC findings, a diagnosis of diffuse seminoma was made. Three months later, a follow-up examination showed no evidence of recurrence and the preservation of reproductive abilities. The case presented shows an unusual ultrasonographic pattern for seminoma and the basis of the correlation between the characteristics of the sonoelastographic examination and histological diagnosis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Veterinary and Comparative Reproductive Pathology)
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16 pages, 14011 KiB  
Article
Biomarkers and De Novo Protein Design Can Improve Precise Amino Acid Nutrition in Broilers
by María Cambra-López, Pablo Jesús Marín-García, Clara Lledó, Alba Cerisuelo and Juan José Pascual
Animals 2022, 12(7), 935; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070935 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2791
Abstract
Precision nutrition in broilers requires tools capable of identifying amino acid imbalances individually or in groups, as well as knowledge on how more digestible proteins can be designed for innovative feeding programs adjusted to animals’ dynamic requirements. This work proposes two potential tools, [...] Read more.
Precision nutrition in broilers requires tools capable of identifying amino acid imbalances individually or in groups, as well as knowledge on how more digestible proteins can be designed for innovative feeding programs adjusted to animals’ dynamic requirements. This work proposes two potential tools, combining traditional nutrition with biotechnological, metabolomic, computational and protein engineering knowledge, which can contribute to improving the precise amino acid nutrition of broilers in the future: (i) the use of serum uric nitrogen content as a rapid biomarker of amino acid imbalances, and (ii) the design and modeling of de novo proteins that are fully digestible and fit exactly to the animal’s requirements. Each application is illustrated with a case study. Case study 1 demonstrates that serum uric nitrogen can be a useful rapid indicator of individual or group amino acid deficiencies or imbalances when reducing dietary protein and adjusting the valine and arginine to lysine ratios in broilers. Case study 2 describes a stepwise approach to design an ideal protein, resulting in a potential amino acid sequence and structure prototype that is ideally adjusted to the requirements of the targeted animal, and is theoretically completely digestible. Both tools can open up new opportunities to form an integrated framework for precise amino acid nutrition in broilers, helping us to achieve more efficient, resilient, and sustainable production. This information can help to determine the exact ratio of amino acids that will improve the efficiency of the use of nitrogen by poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Precision Poultry Farming)
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23 pages, 27893 KiB  
Article
Integrative Analyses of Antler Cartilage Transcriptome and Proteome of Gansu Red Deer (Cervus elaphus kansuensis) at Different Growth Stages
by Yanxia Chen, Zhenxiang Zhang, Wenjie Jin, Zhaonan Li, Changhong Bao, Caixia He, Yuqin Guo and Changzhong Li
Animals 2022, 12(7), 934; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070934 - 6 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
The velvet antler is a unique model for cancer and regeneration research due to its periodic regeneration and rapid growth. Antler growth is mainly triggered by the growth center located in its tip, which consists of velvet skin, mesenchyme and cartilage. Among them, [...] Read more.
The velvet antler is a unique model for cancer and regeneration research due to its periodic regeneration and rapid growth. Antler growth is mainly triggered by the growth center located in its tip, which consists of velvet skin, mesenchyme and cartilage. Among them, cartilage accounts for most of the growth center. We performed an integrative analysis of the antler cartilage transcriptome and proteome at different antler growth stages. RNA-seq results revealed 24,778 unigenes, 19,243 known protein-coding genes, and 5535 new predicted genes. Of these, 2722 were detected with differential expression patterns among 30 d, 60 d, and 90 d libraries, and 488 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were screened at 30 d vs. 60 d and 60 d vs. 90 d but not at 30 d vs. 90 d. Proteomic data identified 1361 known proteins and 179 predicted novel proteins. Comparative analyses showed 382 differentially expressed proteins (DEPs), of which 16 had differential expression levels at 30 d vs. 60 d and 60 d vs. 90 d but not at 30 d vs. 90 d. An integrated analysis conducted for DEGs and DEPs showed that gene13546 and its coding protein protein13546 annotated in the Wnt signaling pathway may possess important bio-logical functions in rapid antler growth. This study provides in-depth characterization of candidate genes and proteins, providing further insights into the molecular mechanisms controlling antler development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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11 pages, 453 KiB  
Article
Effects of Rearing System and Fattening Intensity on the Chemical Composition, Physicochemical Properties and Sensory Attributes of Meat from Young Crossbred (Holstein-Friesian × Hereford) Bulls
by Zenon Nogalski, Paulina Pogorzelska-Przybyłek, Monika Sobczuk-Szul and Monika Modzelewska-Kapituła
Animals 2022, 12(7), 933; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070933 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1807
Abstract
The study was aimed at determining the effects of the rearing system and intensity of fattening on beef physicochemical properties and sensory quality, fatty acid composition, and mineral compounds and vitamins concentration. The study was conducted using meat from 38 young, crossbred bull [...] Read more.
The study was aimed at determining the effects of the rearing system and intensity of fattening on beef physicochemical properties and sensory quality, fatty acid composition, and mineral compounds and vitamins concentration. The study was conducted using meat from 38 young, crossbred bull calves, which were reared with nurse cows (C) or were fed milk replacer (R). In the study, intensive (Int) or semi-intensive (SInt) fattening system were applied. The bulls were slaughtered at the age of 560 days and samples of the longissimus lumborum (LL) muscle were collected. Meat from C bulls was juicier (p < 0.05) and had a higher concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), as well as zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), and α-tocopherol, compared with meat from R bulls. The Int system resulted in the intramuscular fat (IMF) content increase (p < 0.01) and reduced shear force (p < 0.05), compared with the SInt system. Meat from Int bulls had a better eating quality and a higher monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFAs), Zn, and Fe; however, it had a lower proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and α-tocopherol concentration than meat obtained from SInt bulls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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12 pages, 285 KiB  
Article
Effect of TMR Briquettes on Milk Production, Nutrient Digestibility, and Manure Excretions of Dairy Cows in the Dry Zone of Sri Lanka
by Wishma Karunanayaka, Deepthi Nayananjalie, Ranga Appuhamy, Jayantha Adikari, Viraj Weerasingha, Amali Kumari, Sharini Somasiri, Ridma Liyanage, Priyani Mangalika and Thenmoli Sundarabarathy
Animals 2022, 12(7), 932; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070932 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2405
Abstract
We showed previously that TMR briquettes made with a variety of forages and industrial by-products had higher crude protein and energy concentrations than the conventional diet including fresh-cut Guinea grass and commercial cattle pellet (CTL). The study objective was to determine to what [...] Read more.
We showed previously that TMR briquettes made with a variety of forages and industrial by-products had higher crude protein and energy concentrations than the conventional diet including fresh-cut Guinea grass and commercial cattle pellet (CTL). The study objective was to determine to what extent the nutritional advantages of TMR briquettes would be translated into the milk production of dairy cows in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Nine Jersey × Sahiwal cows were assigned to CTL or two TMR briquettes in a 3 × 3 Latin square design with three periods each including 14 d for production measurement and 7 d for total faeces and urine collection. The TMR briquettes tended to increase milk yield (5.55 to 6.59 kg/d, p = 0.092), milk protein yield (0.170 vs. 0.203 kg/d, p = 0.091) and DMI (6.50 to 7.16 kg/d, p = 0.070), and decreased milk urea nitrogen (13.0 to 10.5 mg/dL, p < 0.006). The TMR briquettes had a higher organic matter and neutral detergent fibre digestibility (p < 0.001), and lower urinary N excretions as a % of N intake (p = 0.149). In conclusion, the TMR briquettes can improve forage digestibility, milk production and environmental sustainability of dairy cows in the dry zone of Sri Lanka. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
16 pages, 2791 KiB  
Article
Comparison of Donkey, Pony, and Horse Dorsal Profiles and Head Shapes Using Geometric Morphometrics
by Małgorzata Maśko, Małgorzata Wierzbicka, Łukasz Zdrojkowski, Tomasz Jasiński, Urszula Sikorska, Bartosz Pawliński and Małgorzata Domino
Animals 2022, 12(7), 931; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070931 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 9223
Abstract
Since donkey breeding has increased due to their variety of uses, welfare evaluation has become more important. This study aimed to compare donkey, pony, and horse dorsal profiles and head shapes using geometric morphometrics (GM). Photographs of 14 donkeys, 14 ponies, and 14 [...] Read more.
Since donkey breeding has increased due to their variety of uses, welfare evaluation has become more important. This study aimed to compare donkey, pony, and horse dorsal profiles and head shapes using geometric morphometrics (GM). Photographs of 14 donkeys, 14 ponies, and 14 horses were analyzed using GM, including the sliding semilandmarks method. The variations in the first three principal components (PCs) were PC1: 57.16%, PC2: 16.05%, and PC3: 8.31% for the dorsal profiles and PC1: 44.77%, PC2: 13.46%, and PC3: 7.66% for the head shapes. Both the dorsal profiles and head shapes differed between donkeys and horses (p < 0.0001) but not between donkeys and ponies (p > 0.05). Moreover, both the dorsal profiles and head shapes differed in size between ponies and horses (p < 0.0001) but not in shape (p > 0.05). Higher Mahalanobis and Procrustes distances were noted between donkeys and horses as well between donkeys and ponies than between ponies and horses. The use of geometric morphometrics revealed the differences in the dorsal profiles and head shapes between the studied equids. These differences should be taken into account when adapting welfare scales and methods from horses to donkeys. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Research Advances in Donkey and Mule Science and Medicine)
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19 pages, 2377 KiB  
Article
Feeding Habits of Sarda chiliensis chiliensis (Cuvier, 1832) in Northern Chile and Southern Perú
by Renzo Pepe-Victoriano, Héctor Aravena-Ambrosetti, Jordan I. Huanacuni, Felipe Méndez-Abarca, Karina Godoy and Nathalia Álvarez
Animals 2022, 12(7), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070930 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
The trophic relationships of pelagic fishes with migratory traits such as the South Pacific Bonito, Sarda chiliensis chiliensis (Cuvier, 1832), have not been studied in depth in the past. The objective of the present research was to analyze the feeding habits of South [...] Read more.
The trophic relationships of pelagic fishes with migratory traits such as the South Pacific Bonito, Sarda chiliensis chiliensis (Cuvier, 1832), have not been studied in depth in the past. The objective of the present research was to analyze the feeding habits of South Pacific Bonito by sex and to analyze a comparison between summer and autumn months in three different areas of the eastern South Pacific by applying different techniques used in trophic biology. Between December 2013 and June 2014, specimens were captured in the areas of Pozo de Lisas (Ilo, Peru), La Capilla (Arica, Chile) and Chanavayita (Iquique, Chile). The feeding dynamics and trophic composition of the diet were analyzed, as well as the feeding strategy and trophic relationships. A total of 1404 specimens were analyzed, of which 654 had stomach contents. Seven prey items were identified: (a) fish remains; (b) squid jaw remains; (c) squid gladius remains; (d) caudal fin remains; (e) Engraulis rigens; (f) Pleuroncodes monodon and (g) N/A (not determined). The Pozo de Lisas and La Capilla areas showed homogeneity in their prey items, while the Chanavayita area showed more diversity. Regarding the importance of prey items in the diet of S. chiliensis in the three localities, it would be correct to state that it is a generalist species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Ecology and Conservation)
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14 pages, 1381 KiB  
Article
Genetic Diversity and Trends of Ancestral and New Inbreeding in Deutsch Drahthaar Assessed by Pedigree Data
by Paula Wiebke Michels and Ottmar Distl
Animals 2022, 12(7), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070929 - 5 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2083
Abstract
Loss of genetic diversity and high inbreeding rates confer an increased risk of congenital anomalies and diseases and thus impacting dog breeding. In this study, we analyzed recent and ancestral inbreeding as well as other measures of genetic variability in the Deutsch Drahthaar [...] Read more.
Loss of genetic diversity and high inbreeding rates confer an increased risk of congenital anomalies and diseases and thus impacting dog breeding. In this study, we analyzed recent and ancestral inbreeding as well as other measures of genetic variability in the Deutsch Drahthaar (DD) dog population. Analyses included pedigree data from 101,887 animals and a reference population with 65,927 dogs born between 2000 and 2020. The mean equivalent complete generations was 8.6 with 69% known ancestors in generation 8. The mean realized effective population size was 92 with an increasing trend from 83 to 108 over birth years. The numbers of founders, effective founders and effective ancestors, as well as founder genomes, were 814, 66, 38 and 16.15, respectively. Thirteen ancestors explained 50% of the genetic diversity. The mean coefficient of inbreeding and individual rate of inbreeding (ΔFi) were 0.042 and 0.00551, respectively, with a slightly decreasing trend in ΔFi. Exposure of ancestors to identical-by-descent alleles explored through ancestral coefficients of inbreeding showed a strong increasing trend. Comparisons between new and ancestral inbreeding coefficients according to Kalinowski et al. showed an average relative contribution of 62% of new inbreeding to individual inbreeding. Comparisons among average coancestry within the parental population and average inbreeding in the reference population were not indicative of genetic substructures. In conclusion, the creation of the DD dog breed about 120 years ago resulted in a popular breed with considerable genetic diversity without substructuring into lines or subpopulations. The trend of new inbreeding was declining, while ancestral inbreeding through ancestors who were autozygous at least once in previous generations was increasing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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29 pages, 4268 KiB  
Review
The Neurobiology of Behavior and Its Applicability for Animal Welfare: A Review
by Genaro A. Coria-Avila, James G. Pfaus, Agustín Orihuela, Adriana Domínguez-Oliva, Nancy José-Pérez, Laura Astrid Hernández and Daniel Mota-Rojas
Animals 2022, 12(7), 928; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070928 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 12601
Abstract
Understanding the foundations of the neurobiology of behavior and well-being can help us better achieve animal welfare. Behavior is the expression of several physiological, endocrine, motor and emotional responses that are coordinated by the central nervous system from the processing of internal and [...] Read more.
Understanding the foundations of the neurobiology of behavior and well-being can help us better achieve animal welfare. Behavior is the expression of several physiological, endocrine, motor and emotional responses that are coordinated by the central nervous system from the processing of internal and external stimuli. In mammals, seven basic emotional systems have been described that when activated by the right stimuli evoke positive or negative innate responses that evolved to facilitate biological fitness. This review describes the process of how those neurobiological systems can directly influence animal welfare. We also describe examples of the interaction between primary (innate) and secondary (learned) processes that influence behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Behavior: Insights into Chemical Communication)
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16 pages, 3214 KiB  
Article
Myostatin Knockout Limits Exercise-Induced Reduction in Bovine Erythrocyte Oxidative Stress by Enhancing the Efficiency of the Pentose Phosphate Pathway
by Lin Zhu, Chunling Bai, Xueqiao Wang, Zhuying Wei, Mingjuan Gu, Xinyu Zhou, Guanghua Su, Xuefei Liu, Lei Yang and Guangpeng Li
Animals 2022, 12(7), 927; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070927 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1975
Abstract
Moderate exercise can strengthen the body, however, exhaustive exercise generates large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although erythrocytes have antioxidant systems that quickly eliminate ROS, erythrocytes become overwhelmed by ROS when the body is under oxidative stress, such as during exhaustive exercise. [...] Read more.
Moderate exercise can strengthen the body, however, exhaustive exercise generates large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Although erythrocytes have antioxidant systems that quickly eliminate ROS, erythrocytes become overwhelmed by ROS when the body is under oxidative stress, such as during exhaustive exercise. Myostatin (MSTN) has important effects on muscle hair development. Individuals lacking myostatin (MSTN) exhibit increased muscle mass. The purpose of this study was to investigate the mechanism by which MSTN affects erythrocyte antioxidant changes after exhaustive exercise in cattle. Antioxidant and metabolite detection analysis, western blotting, immunofluorescence, and fatty acid methyl ester analysis were used to assess exercise-associated antioxidant changes in erythrocytes with or without MSTN. Knockdown of MSTN enhances Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity after exhaustive exercise. MSTN and its receptors were present on the erythrocyte membrane, but their levels, especially that of TGF-β RI, were significantly reduced in the absence of MSTN and following exhaustive exercise. Our results suggest that knockout of MSTN accelerates the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), thereby enhancing the antioxidant capacity of erythrocytes. These results provide important insights into the role of MSTN in erythrocyte antioxidant regulation after exhaustive exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Genetics and Genomics)
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6 pages, 1793 KiB  
Communication
Molecular Analysis of the Heterakis dispar Population in Domestic Geese Based on the ITS1-5.8rRNA-ITS2 Fragment
by Kamila Bobrek, Andrzej Gaweł and Joanna Urbanowicz
Animals 2022, 12(7), 926; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070926 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1473
Abstract
Heterakidosis is a parasitic infection in birds caused by the cecal parasite Heterakis spp. The most common species in geese is H. dispar, the largest avian heterakids species. Because of a scarcity of data concerning the H. dispar population, the aim of [...] Read more.
Heterakidosis is a parasitic infection in birds caused by the cecal parasite Heterakis spp. The most common species in geese is H. dispar, the largest avian heterakids species. Because of a scarcity of data concerning the H. dispar population, the aim of this study was the genetic analysis of Heterakis dispar isolated from geese flocks based on the ITS1-5.8rRNA-ITS2 fragment. Among the 71 H. dispar specimens isolated from 20 geese flocks, six haplotypes were determined (A, B, C, D, E, and F). The four nucleotide substitutions were noted in both ITS fragments, and all of them were transitions between adenine and guanine, or thymine and cytosine. The most frequently noted haplotype was type A (45%), followed by type B (18.3%), type C and D (11.3%), type E (8.5%), and F (5.6%). Infection with nematodes from different haplotype groups was noted in 30% of the flocks, with type A being the most prevalent, followed by types B, D, or E to make up 100%. This study represents the first H. dispar population analysis based on the ITS1-5.8rRNA-ITS2 fragment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Avian Pathology)
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11 pages, 4471 KiB  
Article
Effects of Fermented Manure Bedding Thickness on Bulls’ Growth, Behavior, and Welfare as Well as Barn Gases Concentration in the Barn
by Kaifeng Niu, Xinxin Zhang, Chao Chen and Liguo Yang
Animals 2022, 12(7), 925; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070925 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
Providing clean, comfortable bedding is essential for the growth and welfare of bulls. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of bedding thickness on growth performance, behavior, and welfare of bulls as well as gases concentration in the barn. Thirty-six healthy Simmental [...] Read more.
Providing clean, comfortable bedding is essential for the growth and welfare of bulls. This study was aimed to investigate the effects of bedding thickness on growth performance, behavior, and welfare of bulls as well as gases concentration in the barn. Thirty-six healthy Simmental bulls (7–9 months old) were randomly divided into three groups and raised on 0 cm (concrete floor, CF), 15 cm (shallow fermented bedding, SFB), and 30 cm (deep fermented bedding, DFB) fermented manure bedding. The results showed that the DFB group exhibited the optimal ADG (average daily gain), F/G (ratio of feed to gain), hoof health, body hygiene, and lying time, followed by the SFB group and the CF group (p < 0.05). As for the barn gas environment, the contents of ammonia and carbon dioxide were the lowest in the DFB group, followed by the SFB group, and they were the highest in the CF group at the same time points (p < 0.01). In summary, fermented manure bedding significantly improves the growth performances, behavior, and welfare of bulls as well as gases concentration, and the improvement effect achieved by deep fermented bedding is more obvious than by shallow fermented bedding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
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9 pages, 1599 KiB  
Communication
Differences in Fatty Acid Profile and Physical-Chemical Composition of Slavonska slanina—Dry Cured Smoked Bacon Produced from Black Slavonian Pig and Modern Pigs
by Katarina Latin, Krešimir Mastanjević, Nikola Raguž, Mateja Bulaić, Ras Lužaić, Marija Heffer and Boris Lukić
Animals 2022, 12(7), 924; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070924 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1980
Abstract
The objective of this study was to compare the psysico-chemical composition and fatty acid (FFA) profile of traditional dry cured bacon Slavonska slanina, produced from the authentic Black Slavonian Pig (BP) and modern pigs (MP), using traditional homemade principles. The samples of [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to compare the psysico-chemical composition and fatty acid (FFA) profile of traditional dry cured bacon Slavonska slanina, produced from the authentic Black Slavonian Pig (BP) and modern pigs (MP), using traditional homemade principles. The samples of Slavonska slanina produced from BP had a significantly (p < 0.05) higher fat content (78.32%) than the samples produced from MP (46.47%), while the samples produced from MP showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) protein and moisture content. The samples produced from BP also showed lower aw and salt content but higher pH. Determination of fatty acid composition was performed at the end of the production process. The composition of fatty acids with respect to the groups of saturated (SFA), monounsaturated (MUFA) and polyunsaturated (PUFA) fatty acids was determined, as well as the ratios n-6/n-3 and PUFA/SFA. The results of fatty acid composition determination of Slavonska slanina produced from BP and MP show that oleic acid (C18: 1n9) is the most dominant fatty acid from the MUFA group (47.02 and 46.25%), the most common SFA acid was palmitic acid (C16: 0) (23.44 and 24.96%), and PUFA linoleic acid (C18: 2n-6c) (10.76 and 9.74%). The genotype had a significant (p < 0.05) effect on the SFA and USFA composition of Slavonska slanina. The ratios PUFA/SFA (0.34–0.28) and n-6/n-3 (31.84–27.34) for samples of Slavonska slanina produced from BP and MP are in concordance with previously published data for different dry cured meat products, and do not comply with the nutritionally recommended values of international health organizations (PUFA/SFA > 0.4 and n-6/n-3 < 4). Full article
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13 pages, 1760 KiB  
Article
Keeping Up with Insect Pollinators in Paris
by Vincent Zaninotto and Isabelle Dajoz
Animals 2022, 12(7), 923; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070923 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2473
Abstract
There is growing interest in urban pollinator communities, although they may be subject to biotic homogenization in densely artificial landscapes. Paris (France) is one of the densest cities in the world, yet over the years many insect pollinator species have been reported there. [...] Read more.
There is growing interest in urban pollinator communities, although they may be subject to biotic homogenization in densely artificial landscapes. Paris (France) is one of the densest cities in the world, yet over the years many insect pollinator species have been reported there. We conducted in-depth surveys of Parisian green spaces for two years, in order to improve our knowledge of these assemblages. We explored several types of green spaces, monitoring pollinators throughout their activity season. We listed 118 species of wild bees and 37 species of hoverflies, updating pre-existing lists with 32 additional species. Bee assemblages showed functional diversity with 18.5% parasitic species and 17.7% oligolectic species. We also found several bee and hoverfly species under special conservation status. Over the study period, we observed seasonal succession of species, with diversified phenological niches. The greatest taxonomic and functional diversity was found in green spaces combining several habitats with ecological management. Despite its very dense urbanism, Paris is home to diverse pollinator communities. As a result, nearly half of the wild bee species of the wider Ile-de-France administrative region can be found within the city. This highlights the need to also consider dense urban environments in insect pollinator conservation strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Pollinator Conservation in the Built Environment)
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15 pages, 1549 KiB  
Article
Occurrence and D-Tryptophan Application for Controlling the Growth of Multidrug-Resistant Non-O157 Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli in Dairy Products
by Mahmoud Elafify, Noha M. Sadoma, Salah F. A. Abd El Aal, Mohamed A. Bayoumi and Tamer Ahmed Ismail
Animals 2022, 12(7), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070922 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1970
Abstract
The objectives of the current study were first to determine the prevalence of non O157:H7E. coli, especially Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in retailed milk and dairy products in Egypt. Second, the antimicrobial resistance profiling and virulence genes [...] Read more.
The objectives of the current study were first to determine the prevalence of non O157:H7E. coli, especially Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in retailed milk and dairy products in Egypt. Second, the antimicrobial resistance profiling and virulence genes of the isolated E. coli strains were screened. Third, evaluation of the inhibitory effects of D-tryptophan against E. coli O26:H11 was further performed. The results revealed that 20% (30/150) of the samples were STEC positive, with 64 isolates harboring some virulent genes, such as Stx1, Stx2, eaeA, and hylA. Serological identification revealed four different pathotypes belonging to EPEC, ETEC, EHEC, and EIEC. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing revealed that 100%, 98.44%, 92.19%, 71.87%, 65.63% and 64.06% of the isolates had a resistance against tetracycline, oxacillin, erythromycin, nalidixic acid, sulphamethoxazol, and ampicillin, respectively. D-tryptophan addition (40 mM) to E. coli O26:H11-inoculated soft cheese and ice cream revealed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in bacterial growth, especially when accompanied with other food stressors. D-Tryptophan is considered as an effective food preservative and as a promising alternative candidate in the dairy industry. Full article
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16 pages, 3296 KiB  
Article
Targeted Mop up and Robust Response Tools Can Achieve and Maintain Possum Freedom on the Mainland
by Briar Cook and Nick Mulgan
Animals 2022, 12(7), 921; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070921 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2181
Abstract
Unfenced sites on mainland New Zealand have long been considered impossible to defend from reinvasion by possums, and are thus unsuitable for eradication. In July 2019, we began eliminating possums from 11,642 ha (including approximately 8700 ha of suitable possum habitat) in South [...] Read more.
Unfenced sites on mainland New Zealand have long been considered impossible to defend from reinvasion by possums, and are thus unsuitable for eradication. In July 2019, we began eliminating possums from 11,642 ha (including approximately 8700 ha of suitable possum habitat) in South Westland, using alpine rivers and high alpine ranges to minimise reinvasion. Two aerial 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) applications, each with two pre-feeds, were used. Here, we detail the effort to mop up existing possums and subsequent invaders in the 13 months following the aerial operation. Possums were detected and caught using a motion-activated camera network, traps equipped with automated reporting and a possum search dog. The last probable survivor was eliminated on 29 June 2020, 11 months after the initial removal operation. Subsequently, possums entered the site at a rate of 4 per year. These were detected and removed using the same methods. The initial elimination cost NZD 163.75/ha and ongoing detection and response NZD 15.70/ha annually. We compare costs with possum eradications on islands and ongoing suppression on the mainland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Wildlife with the Goal of Localised Eradication)
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26 pages, 1132 KiB  
Article
Estimating the Population of Unowned Free-Ranging Domestic Cats in Denmark Using a Combination of Questionnaires and GPS Tracking
by Helene Brøgger Nielsen, Helene Ane Jensen, Henrik Meilby, Søren Saxmose Nielsen and Peter Sandøe
Animals 2022, 12(7), 920; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070920 - 4 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3809
Abstract
The present study aimed (1) to estimate the size of the population of unowned free-ranging domestic cats in Denmark using a questionnaire survey combined with a GPS-tracking survey, and (2) to estimate the distribution of the population across different habitats. The questionnaires were [...] Read more.
The present study aimed (1) to estimate the size of the population of unowned free-ranging domestic cats in Denmark using a questionnaire survey combined with a GPS-tracking survey, and (2) to estimate the distribution of the population across different habitats. The questionnaires were circulated in 94 randomly selected parishes ranging across seven kinds of habitat. Using responses from five of the habitats, we estimated the population of unowned free-ranging cats nationally. In the other two habitats, questionnaire data were collected in a simpler way. The territory of 59 owned cats was estimated with GPS tracking to assess home ranges. Home range area was calculated using 95% Brownian bridge kernel density estimation (0.033–0.077 ± 0.011–0.023 km2, median ± SE). We estimated a population of unowned free-ranging cats in Denmark of 89,000 ± 11,000 (SE), with a mean density of 2 ± 0.3 (SE) cats per km2, living primarily in rural habitats. Approximately one-third of the cats were estimated to be socialised and two-thirds unsocialised. Our method may be suitable for use in other temperate areas facing problems with unowned free-ranging cats. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Behavioural Ecology and Welfare of Free-Ranging Cats)
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13 pages, 1725 KiB  
Article
Fermentation Quality and Microbial Community of Corn Stover or Rice Straw Silage Mixed with Soybean Curd Residue
by Xiaolin Wang, Jiamei Song, Zihan Liu, Guangning Zhang and Yonggen Zhang
Animals 2022, 12(7), 919; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070919 - 3 Apr 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2512
Abstract
The objective of this study was to investigate the fermentation quality and microbial community of corn stover (CS) or rice straw (RS) silage mixed with soybean curd residue (SCR). In this study, SCR and CS or RS were mixed at ratios of 75:25, [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to investigate the fermentation quality and microbial community of corn stover (CS) or rice straw (RS) silage mixed with soybean curd residue (SCR). In this study, SCR and CS or RS were mixed at ratios of 75:25, 70:30, and 65:35, respectively, and measured for nutrient content, fermentation indices, and bacterial diversity after 30 days of ensiling. The results showed an increase in lactic acid (LA) concentration (p < 0.01) and crude protein (CP) content (p < 0.0001), a decrease in pH value (p < 0.01), the content of NDF (p < 0.01) and ADF (p < 0.01), and ammonia nitrogen (AN) concentration (p < 0.01) as the proportion of SCR in raw materials (CS or RS) increased. The addition of SCR to silage led to a decrease in bacterial diversity and contributed to an increased relative abundance of beneficial microorganisms, such as Lactobacillus, and a corresponding decrease in the relative abundance of undesirable microorganisms, such as Clostridium and Enterobacter. Collectively, the mixed silage of soybean curd residue with corn stover or rice straw preserved more nutrients and helped improve fermentation quality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Nutrition)
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11 pages, 1304 KiB  
Article
Preference for Shelters at Different Developmental Stages of Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis)
by Chunbo Li, Chenchen Shen, Guangpeng Feng, Xiaorong Huang and Xincang Li
Animals 2022, 12(7), 918; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070918 - 3 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2352
Abstract
A shelter is a good habitat for aquatic organisms, which could aid in avoiding cannibalism and facilitate predation. Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is an important aquaculture species with troglodytism and nocturnal habit. To clarify the preference for shelters at different [...] Read more.
A shelter is a good habitat for aquatic organisms, which could aid in avoiding cannibalism and facilitate predation. Chinese Mitten Crab (Eriocheir sinensis) is an important aquaculture species with troglodytism and nocturnal habit. To clarify the preference for shelters at different developmental stages of E. sinensis, different shelters (mud, sand, grass and rocks) were selected for comparison. These results indicated that juvenile crabs had a significant preference for grass; button-sized crabs preferred to hide in mud; and the favorite shelters for parent crabs were rocks, followed by mud. E. sinensis in three stages all showed concealing behavior. The concealing behavior of juvenile crabs was the most significant, followed by button-sized and parent crabs. Additionally, E. sinensis held a low hiding rate at night but a high hiding rate during the daytime due to nocturnal habits. These findings will help to better understand the habits of E. sinensis and provide a reference for resource restoration, habitat construction and the restoration of E. sinensis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Behavioral Ecology of Aquatic Animals)
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18 pages, 3018 KiB  
Article
Effects of Postbiotics and Paraprobiotics as Replacements for Antibiotics on Growth Performance, Carcass Characteristics, Small Intestine Histomorphology, Immune Status and Hepatic Growth Gene Expression in Broiler Chickens
by Yohanna Danladi, Teck Chwen Loh, Hooi Ling Foo, Henny Akit, Nur Aida Md Tamrin and Mohammad Naeem Azizi
Animals 2022, 12(7), 917; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070917 - 3 Apr 2022
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4069
Abstract
Background: This experiment was designed to investigate how replacing antibiotics with postbiotics and paraprobiotics could affect growth performance, small intestine morphology, immune status, and hepatic growth gene expression in broiler chickens. Methods: The experiment followed a completely randomized design (CRD) in which eight [...] Read more.
Background: This experiment was designed to investigate how replacing antibiotics with postbiotics and paraprobiotics could affect growth performance, small intestine morphology, immune status, and hepatic growth gene expression in broiler chickens. Methods: The experiment followed a completely randomized design (CRD) in which eight treatments were replicated six times with seven birds per replicate. A total of 336, one-day-old (COBB 500) chicks were fed with the eight treatment diets, which include T1 = negative control (Basal diet), T2 = positive control (Basal diet + 0.01% (w/w) Oxytetracycline), T3 = Basal diet + 0.2% (v/w) postbiotic TL1, T4 = Basal diet + 0.2% (v/w) postbiotic RS5, T5 = Basal diet + 0.2% (v/w) paraprobiotic RG11, T6 = Basal diet + 0.2% (v/w) postbiotic RI11, T7 = Basal diet + 0.2% (v/w) paraprobiotic RG14, T8 = Basal diet + 0.2% (v/w) paraprobiotic RI11, for 35 days in a closed house system. Results: The growth performance indicators (final body weight, cumulative weight gain, and feed conversion ratio) were not significantly (p > 0.05) affected by the dietary treatments. However, feed intake recorded a significant (p < 0.05) change in the starter and finisher phases across the dietary treatments. Paraprobiotic RG14 had significantly (p < 0.05) lower abdominal fat and intestines. Villi heights were significantly (p < 0.05) increased, while the crypt depth decreased significantly due to dietary treatments. The dietary treatments significantly influenced colon mucosa sIgA (p < 0.05). Similarly, plasma immunoglobulin IgM level recorded significant (p < 0.05) changes at the finisher phase. In this current study, the hepatic GHR and IGF-1 expressions were significantly (p < 0.05) increased by postbiotics and paraprobiotics supplementation. Conclusions: Therefore, it was concluded that postbiotics and paraprobiotics differ in their effect on broiler chickens. However, they can replace antibiotics without compromising the growth performance, carcass yield, and immune status of broiler chickens. Full article
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15 pages, 1058 KiB  
Article
G0S2 Gene Polymorphism and Its Relationship with Carcass Traits in Chicken
by Xin Yang, Yuanrong Xian, Zhenhui Li, Zhijun Wang and Qinghua Nie
Animals 2022, 12(7), 916; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070916 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2191
Abstract
Gene single nucleotide polymorphisms can be used as auxiliary markers in molecular breeding and are an effective method to improve production performance. G0S2 is a key gene involved in regulating fat metabolism, but little research has been conducted on this gene regarding its [...] Read more.
Gene single nucleotide polymorphisms can be used as auxiliary markers in molecular breeding and are an effective method to improve production performance. G0S2 is a key gene involved in regulating fat metabolism, but little research has been conducted on this gene regarding its role in poultry. In this study, the specialized commercial partridge chicken strain G0S2 gene was cloned and sequenced, and the relationship between the SNP sites on G0S2 and the carcass traits of chickens was investigated. The results showed that a total of seven SNPs were detected on G0S2 (g.102G > A, g.255G > A, g.349C > T, g.384A > G, g.386G > A, g.444G > A, g.556G > A). Two sites are located in the coding region and five sites are located in the 3′-UTR. SNPs located in the coding region are synonymous mutations. g.444G > A has a significant correlation with abdominal fat weight. The chickens with AG and GG genotypes have the highest abdominal fat weight, while the AA genotype is lower. The g.102G > A genotype has a significant correlation with live and abdominal fat weight. The live weight and abdominal fat weight of the chickens with AA and AG genotypes are at a higher level and have a larger gap than the GG genotype. Chickens with the AA genotype in g.556G > A had the lowest fat weight. The results of present study can provide practical information for molecular marker-assisted breeding of chicken carcass traits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Genetic Selection and Associated Defects in Poultry Production)
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12 pages, 277 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Lithium Salt with Ascorbic Acid on the Antioxidant Status and Productivity of Gestating Sows
by Konstantin Ostrenko, Roman Nekrasov, Anastasiya Ovcharova, Viktar Lemiasheuski and Ivan Kutin
Animals 2022, 12(7), 915; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070915 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1969
Abstract
This research is aimed at the influence of different doses of lithium ascorbate on pigs’ diet estimation, at farrowing sows’ antioxidant status increase, and at lipid peroxidation product level decrease. The research was conducted in farrowing sows of the Irish landrace breed during [...] Read more.
This research is aimed at the influence of different doses of lithium ascorbate on pigs’ diet estimation, at farrowing sows’ antioxidant status increase, and at lipid peroxidation product level decrease. The research was conducted in farrowing sows of the Irish landrace breed during the second farrow. Three groups of animals were formed, with ten livestock units in each. Thirty days after successful insemination, the sows of the E10, E5 and E2 experimental groups started receiving lithium ascorbate powder together with feed stuff in dosages of 10, 5 and 2 mg/kg of body weight, respectively. Their weighing and biochemical examinations were performed before the substance introduction as well as on the 60th and 110th days of pregnancy. The following were detected in sows’ blood plasma: malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione, oxidized glutathione, SH/SS ratio, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity. Lithium ascorbate usage during sows’ breeding cycle caused a significant increase in SH (reduced glutathione) level by 21% (p < 0.05), SS (oxidized glutathione) level decrease by 17% (p < 0.05), and malondialdehyde level decrease by 60% (p < 0.05). These data outline antioxidant defense system activization, reducing the risk of oxidative stress under the influence of feeding with lithium ascorbate. Lithium ascorbate in dosages of 10 mg/kg per body weight given together with feed stuff shows prominent adaptogene and stress protective features in the most effective way. The research conducted regarding lithium ascorbate usage for farrowing sows can reduce the negative consequences of oxidative stress, increase sows’ health preservation level, and contribute to fertility boost. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Animal Novel Alternative Feed)
12 pages, 298 KiB  
Article
Changes in Hematological and Biochemical Profiles in Ovariohysterectomized Bitches Using an Alfaxalone–Midazolam–Morphine–Sevoflurane Protocol
by Mónica Rubio, Katiuska Satué, José María Carrillo, Ángel Hernández Guerra, Belén Cuervo, Deborah Chicharro, Elena Damiá, Ayla Del Romero and Joaquín Sopena
Animals 2022, 12(7), 914; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070914 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2865
Abstract
The aim of this study was to monitor hematochemical changes during and after OHE in bitches. Twenty-four females were anesthetized with alfaxalone, midazolam, morphine and sevoflurane. Blood samples were taken before anesthesia (T0), at 30 (T1), and 60 min (T2), at 3 (T3), [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to monitor hematochemical changes during and after OHE in bitches. Twenty-four females were anesthetized with alfaxalone, midazolam, morphine and sevoflurane. Blood samples were taken before anesthesia (T0), at 30 (T1), and 60 min (T2), at 3 (T3), 6 (T4), 12 (T5), and 24 h (T6), and at 3 (T7) and 7 days (T8) from the start of surgery. Red blood cells (RBC) and packed cell volume (PCV) decreased significantly from T1 to T5 and hemoglobin (HB) concentration from T4 to T6. Both the white blood cell (WBC) and neutrophil (NFS) count increased significantly from T3 to T6, monocyte (MON) from T2 to T5, and eosinophil (EOS) at T5. Platelet (PLT) and plateletcrit (PCT) significantly decreased at T5 and increased from T6 to T8; platelet distribution width (PDW) increased significantly from T3 to T6. Creatine kinase (CK) activity increased significantly from T5 to T7. Glucose (GLU) concentrations increased significantly at T2 and P from T2 to T3. TG levels decreased from T2 to T4 and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels from T1 to T7, subsequently increasing until T8. Changes possibly resulting from stress and surgical trauma, as well as hemodilution and splenic storage, are due to anesthesia and surgery. In healthy bitches, these changes tend to gradually stabilize after the ending of OHE. A post-operative follow-up is essential to detect possible post-operative complications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Companion Animals)
13 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Animal Welfare Considerations and Ethical Dilemmas Inherent in the Euthanasia of Blind Canine Patients
by Vito Biondi, Michela Pugliese, Eva Voslarova, Alessandra Landi and Annamaria Passantino
Animals 2022, 12(7), 913; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070913 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3693
Abstract
In dogs, several primary or secondary diseases affecting the ocular structures may cause blindness. In cases where the visual impairment is not associated with severe systemic involvement and the animal can still have, predictably, a good “long-term” quality of life, the veterinarian should [...] Read more.
In dogs, several primary or secondary diseases affecting the ocular structures may cause blindness. In cases where the visual impairment is not associated with severe systemic involvement and the animal can still have, predictably, a good “long-term” quality of life, the veterinarian should inform the owner about the differences between humans and animals, concerning the type of visual perception. In the light of the daily findings in veterinary clinic practice, the Authors report four different scenarios with conflicting views between veterinarians and owners about the euthanasia request for a blind dog. They underline how the diagnosis of incipient or already established blindness in dogs can sometimes lead to an inappropriate request for euthanasia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law)
16 pages, 2900 KiB  
Article
The Use of Selfie Camera Traps to Estimate Home Range and Movement Patterns of Small Mammals in a Fragmented Landscape
by Ana Gracanin and Katarina M. Mikac
Animals 2022, 12(7), 912; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070912 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3356
Abstract
The use of camera traps to track individual mammals to estimate home range and movement patterns, has not been previously applied to small mammal species. Our aim was to evaluate the use of camera trapping, using the selfie trap method, to record movements [...] Read more.
The use of camera traps to track individual mammals to estimate home range and movement patterns, has not been previously applied to small mammal species. Our aim was to evaluate the use of camera trapping, using the selfie trap method, to record movements of small mammals within and between fragments of habitat. In a fragmented landscape, 164 cameras were set up across four survey areas, with cameras left to record continuously for 28 nights. Live trapping was performed prior to ear mark animals to facilitate individual identification on camera. Four small mammal species (sugar glider; Petaurus breviceps; brown antechinus; Antechinus stuartii, bush rat; Rattus fuscipes, and brown rat; Rattus norvigecus) were recorded on camera (N = 284 individuals). The maximum distance travelled by an individual sugar glider was 14.66 km, antechinus 4.24 km; bush rat 1.90 km and brown rat 1.28 km. Movements of both female and male sugar gliders in linear fragments were recorded at much higher rates than in larger patches of forest sampled in grids. Short term core homes ranges (50% KDE) of 34 sugar gliders ranged from 0.3 ha to 4.2 ha. Sugar glider core home ranges were on average 1.2 ha (±0.17) for females and 2.4 ha (±0.28) for males. The selfie trap is an efficient camera trapping method for estimating home ranges and movements due to its ability to obtain high recapture rates for multiple species and individuals. In our study landscape, linear strips of habitat were readily utilised by all small mammals, highlighting their importance as wildlife corridors in a fragmented landscape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Use of Camera Trap for a Better Wildlife Monitoring and Conservation)
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7 pages, 763 KiB  
Communication
Molecular Survey of Dirofilaria and Leishmania Species in Dogs from Central Balkan
by Suzana Tasić-Otašević, Sara Savić, Maja Jurhar-Pavlova, Jovana Stefanovska, Marko Stalević, Aleksandra Ignjatović, Marina Ranđelović, Bojan Gajić, Aleksandar Cvetkovikj and Simona Gabrielli
Animals 2022, 12(7), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12070911 - 2 Apr 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2529
Abstract
Dirofilariosis and leishmaniosis are severe parasitic diseases in dogs, and their causative agents can also be pathogenic to humans. In this study, we conducted a multicentric survey in the regions of Serbia and North Macedonia with the goal to establish an epidemiological scenario [...] Read more.
Dirofilariosis and leishmaniosis are severe parasitic diseases in dogs, and their causative agents can also be pathogenic to humans. In this study, we conducted a multicentric survey in the regions of Serbia and North Macedonia with the goal to establish an epidemiological scenario of dirofilariosis and leishmaniosis in the territory of Central Balkan. Using molecular analyses, a total of 535 dogs from Northern Serbia (NS), Southern Serbia (SS) and North Macedonia (NM) were screened for the presence of Dirofilaria spp. and Leishmania spp. We confirmed that Central Balkan is an endemic region for Dirofilaria (D.) immitis, as it was found to be the dominant species in this area, with the highest prevalence of 8.75% in NM, followed by NS (6.68%) and a significantly lower prevalence in SS (1.51%). Two dogs (2.5%) from NM were positive for Leishmania (L.) infantum infection. None of the dogs from Serbia tested positive for Leishmania spp. High prevalence and dominance of D. immitis species, and the rising threat of L. infantum spread to the territory of Serbia, suggest that preventive measures are of a great necessity to combat the spread of these vector-borne zoonoses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Parasitic Diseases in Canines and Felines and Their Vectors)
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