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Understanding the use of the Chilean brown seaweeds additive in the gut microbiome and metabolome profile of fattening pigs and its perspectives on future

Grant number: 22/09557-7
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: May 01, 2023 - April 30, 2025
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Animal Husbandry - Animal Production
Convênio/Acordo: Universidad de la Frontera
Principal Investigator:Lúcio Francelino Araújo
Grantee:Lúcio Francelino Araújo
Principal researcher abroad: Nestor Gaston Sepulveda Becker
Institution abroad: Universidad de La Frontera (UFRO), Chile
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Carlos Alexandre Granghelli ; Cristiane Soares da Silva Araújo ; John Axel Quiñones Díaz ; Luiz Alberto Colnago ; Nara Regina Brandão Cônsolo ; Rommy Díaz Pérez ; Simone Maria Massami Kitamura Martins
Associated scholarship(s):23/15542-5 - Metabolomic Analysis of Seaweed Meal, Plasma, Meat, and Liver from Swine Fed with Marine Algae (D.antarctica), BP.TT


Current global events have reminded us that the concept of "one health" is more relevant than ever and in this context, it is necessary to pay attention to the search for safer and more natural ingredients to feed livestock. Seaweeds have been indicated as one of the superfoods of the future, as they possess numerous functional compounds that can take care of people's health but could also contribute nutritionally to the diet of food animals. In the southern hemisphere, there is cochayuyo (Durvillaea antarctica), brown macroalgae have been characterized recently and contain numerous bioactive compounds. Previously, the Chile research group has been evaluated the effect of cochayuyo in rainbow trout feed and no differences were observed in the health or growth of the fish. However, its use as an ingredient in terrestrial animal feed has been scarcely studied. The demand for animal protein continues to grow exponentially and one of the most demanded worldwide corresponds to pork and in 30 years its consumption will be significantly higher compared to recent years. The gut microbiome or massive and systematic analysis of the microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tract of living beings and the interaction of these with their host and the environment is a key tool to understand how new diets are transformed by microorganisms and how these nutrients are transferred to the host. Therefore, the aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of the dietary inclusion of cochayuyo on the microbiome, the metabolome and its relationship with productive and nutritional parameters and the quality of pork meat. For this purpose, in this proposal, specimens of D. antarctica will be collected in the coastal communities of the Araucanía Region. The micro and macro nutrients of these raw materials will be characterized by means of proximal composition analysis and spectrometry, liquid chromatography and gas chromatography techniques. The data will allow the elaboration of experimental diets for pig feeding. Subsequently, a feeding trial (54-day) will be carried out, in which a total of 72 commercial crossbred pigs aged 100 days and weighing ~50 kg will be assigned to 1 of 3 groups based on body weight (6 replicates with 4 pigs each). The experimental diets will be corn/triticale/lupin based, according to the NCR recommendations. Digesta will be collected from the cecum and proximal colon, and then stored in liquid nitrogen for further analysis of the microbiome and metabolism. Feed conversion ratio, weight gain, average daily feed intake, average daily weight gain will be determined for each group. Next, carcass yield and characteristics will be evaluated, from which meat samples will be obtained for analysis of nutritional value and quality traits. The effect of the diets on the intestinal microbiome will be analyzed by massive next-generation sequencing of a region of the prokaryotic 16S rRNA gene and the eukaryotic 18S rRNA gene, where the main populations of microorganisms and their relationship with the main productive parameters described above will be identified. In addition, the metabolomic profile will be developed by means of one-dimensional proton nuclear magnetic resonance, which will allow knowing the metabolites found in the meal and in the blood, liver and meat of the pig and the interaction with the other variables mentioned. It is expected that from a brown seaweed native to Chile (D. antarctica) a concentrate will be produced that, incorporated into the diet of fattening pigs, will have the capacity to preserve the nutritional value, alter the intestinal microbiome, the metabolite profile, produce volatile fatty acids and improve the characteristics and quality of pork meat with positive effects for consumers. Besides, the findings may enable researchers to respond to the concerns and expectations of farmers and consumers by improving animal performance associated with producing safer and healthier meat for human consumption. (AU)

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