Research highlights


Characterization of an organoid model to study the intestinal epithelium of piglets in vitro

Organoid of intestinal epithelium of piglets

Organoids are new models that reproduce in vitro the cellular complexity, tissue architecture and certain functions of the organs they represent. Organoids are now commonly used in many fields of biology such as nutrition, host-microorganism interactions or toxicology. Organoid models have recently been adapted to farm animals but their characterization remains incomplete (1). In particular, little is known about the ability of organoids to maintain the phenotype of the animals from which they are derived.

Séquencer des échantillons anciens stockés en cryobanques pour comprendre comment le génome des animaux domestiques a évolué avec la sélection

Simon Boitard, Laurence Liaubet, Cyriel Paris, Katia Fève, Patrice Dehais, et al. Whole-genome sequencing of cryopreserved resources from French Large White pigs at two distinct sampling times reveals strong signatures of convergent and divergent selection between the dam and sire lines. Genetics Selection Evolution, 2023, 55, pp.13. 10.1186/s12711-023-00789-z hal-04016249

L’étude détaillée de chaque région a également révélé que les signatures de sélection les plus marquées étaient souvent associées à des gènes dont la fonction biologique est particulièrement pertinente pour les caractères sélectionnés. Dans un de ces gènes, IGF2, on observe la sélection d’une mutation génétique affectant la croissance musculaire bien connue dans plusieurs races de porc dont le Large White.

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Early introduction of plant polysaccharides drives the establishment of rabbit gut bacterial ecosystems and the acquisition of microbial functions

sleepy rabbit in the nest

The timing of solid food introduction and plant polysaccharides ingestion are two different tools to modulate microbiota implantation and functionality. In mammals, the introduction of solid food is pivotal for the establishment of the gut microbiota. However, the effects of the first food consumed on long-term microbiota trajectory and host response are still largely unknown.

New methods for genotyping honeybee colonies

Statistical performance of the genotype reconstruction method

The honey bee is an eusocial species organized in colonies of several thousand individuals. From a genetic point of view, the founding queen of a colony mates beforehand with several males to constitute a pool of spermatozoa which will be used throughout her life to produce the individuals of the colony. Most of the colony is made up of diploid workers resulting from fertilizations and occasionally of a few haploid males, resulting from an unfertilized gamete of the queen and whose role is only reproductive. In beekeeping, traits of interest for selection are mainly measured at the colony level, whereas selection is mainly done at the queen level. It is therefore essential to develop methods that allow to genotype a colony at a lower cost.

ABCdaire du porc biologique

L’ABCdaire a été réalisé au printemps 2022 par un groupe d’étudiant de l’Institut Agro Rennes-Angers en partenariat avec Toulouse INP ENSAT et INRAE. Il présente des thèmes variés qui couvrent l’ensemble de la chaine de valeurs du porc bio, résumée en 26 mots dont les initiales se répartissent de A à Z.


Better understanding of the links between ruminal microbiota and milk production in ewes

Ruminants are able to digest the dietary fibres present in their feed thanks to the micro-organisms - particularly bacteria - present in their fore-stomach (rumen). The relationship between the composition of this ruminal microbiota and various traits of interest, such as feed efficiency, milk composition and animal health, has been established in cattle. Researchers from the GesPR and NED teams of GenPhySE laboratory have studied these relationships in dairy sheep.

FROGS: a software for easy analysis of metabarcoding data

Microbial communities play a major role in various environmental processes, including carbon recycling and health. The engineering of these ecosystems is largely based on the control of their diversity. FROGS is a user-friendly pipeline dedicated to biologists that gives access to specific diversity of microbial communities from high-throughput sequencing of amplicons. FROGS has been developed to be very fast even on large amounts of data in using cutting-edge tools and an optimized design.


Gut microbiota derived metabolites contribute to intestinal barrier maturation at the suckling-to-weaning transition

pig intestine organoid (©Martin Beaumont)

The metabolites produced by the microbiota at the onset of solid food ingestion contribute to the maturation of the gut barrier at the suckling-to-weaning transition. Targeting the gut microbiota metabolic activity during this key developmental window might therefore be a promising strategy to promote intestinal homeostasis.