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Toward a better understanding of diet-and-gut microbiome relationships for maximizing growth of modern pig genotypes

Grant number: 22/00494-2
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2022 - April 30, 2024
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Nutrition and Feeding
Convênio/Acordo: University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal Investigator:Luciano Hauschild
Grantee:Luciano Hauschild
Principal researcher abroad: Andrew Kent Benson
Institution abroad: University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), United States
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Danilo Alves Marçal ; João Carlos Gomes Neto ; Natasha Pavlovikj
Associated research grant:18/15559-7 - Precision nutrition for sanitary challenged pigs reared in hot climate areas, AP.JP2


Environmental challenges such as heat stress and infectious diseases have continuously prevented modern pig genotypes to achieve their maximum phenotypic potential (protein deposition) prior to slaughter. However, only a limited number of studies have been carried out to understand how the dietary amino acid (AA) supplementation may contribute to minimizing the impact of inflammatory responses and changes in pigs' metabolism. Little is known about how the potential synergistic effect of gut microbiome changes and specific dietary alterations (protein and AA) in mitigating the negative impact of environmental challenges in pig performance. Currently, several research trials projects are being carried out at UNESP as part of the Young Researcher 2 Project (FAPESP Process No. 2018/15559-7). This project is expected to develop nutritional strategies to optimize pigs' responses to different challenge conditions observed in pig farming worldwide. The researchers at UNL have a well-established research and training program for studying animal and human gastrointestinal microbiomes, with an international reputation for excellence in their work. Therefore, a feat between researchers at UNESP and UNL, which will allow our programs to develop ecologically proven and precise dietary strategies to module gut microbiota, aimed at improving modern pig genotype health and performance considering the current environmental challenges posed by intensive production systems in the US and Brazil alike. The exchange activities will focus on using samples (feces) collected from pig experiments (trials evaluating the effect of diet on challenged pigs, FAPESP Process No. 2018/15559-7), for microbiomes analyses by Ph.D. and post-doctoral fellows in conjunction with researchers at both institutes. Deploying a data science approach (UNL team) for multi-dimensional modeling of animal growth parameters along with microbiomics datasets provides a great opportunity for the development of a framework to be used to i) design novel experimental approach to mechanistically identify microbes and dissect their role in mitigating environmental challenges; ii) create a model to coach the next generation of veterinarians and nutritionists working on swine productions systems; and iii) foster a multi-institution collaboration that openly transfer technology and knowhow for contributing to sustainable agriculture endeavors in both countries. The main performance indicators for the planned activities will be the publication of two collaborative scientific papers in reputable peer-reviewed journals, that will be submitted between 2023 and 2024. Furthermore, the techniques learned by the Ph.D. student and the post-doc will support not only their personal development, but also the entire research team in Brazil, whereby data science expertise will be transferred to enhance our scientific rigor and productivity. Additionally, the project coordinators intend to organize a workshop titled as the proposed work “Toward a better understanding of diet-and-gut microbiome relationships for maximizing growth of modern pig genotypes” in December 2023, which will be held in Brazil, and directly aims at disseminating the results of the collaborative work to academics and industry professionals alike. Finally, the multidisciplinary project proposal aims to include the techniques for gastrointestinal microbiome analyses learned during the missions as part of the studies to be conducted during the thematic project execution. Understanding the relationship between nutrition and microbiome modulation has the potential to enhance profitability in the swine industry both at the US and Brazil alike, since the same environmental challenges are shared between both countries. (AU)

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