Diversity and Co-occurrence Pattern Analysis of Cecal Microbiota Establishment at the Onset of Solid Feeding in Young Rabbits.

TitleDiversity and Co-occurrence Pattern Analysis of Cecal Microbiota Establishment at the Onset of Solid Feeding in Young Rabbits.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsRead, T, Fortun-Lamothe, L, Pascal, G, Le Boulch, M, Cauquil, L, Gabinaud, B, Bannelier, C, Balmisse, E, Destombes, N, Bouchez, O, Gidenne, T, Combes, S
JournalFront Microbiol
Date Published2019

This study aimed to evaluate how the feeding strategy of rabbit kits at the onset of solid feed intake could affect ecological diversity and co-occurrence patterns of the cecal bacterial community. From birth to 18 days of age kits were exclusively milk-fed, and between 18 and 35 days the young rabbits also had access to solid feed. After weaning at (35 days), young rabbits were exclusively fed solid feed. Three experimental feeds were used: a high concentrate diet [H: 10.16 MJ digestible energy (DE)/kg and 15.3% crude protein (CP)], a low concentrate diet (L: 9.33 MJ DE/kg and 14.7% CP) and a reproductive female diet (R: 10.57 MJ DE/kg and 17.3% CP). The rabbit kits ( = 357) were divided into three groups, differing by the diet received during two periods: from 18 to 28 and from 28 to 49 days of age. In the groups LL and HH, rabbit kits were fed L or H diets, respectively, during both periods. Kits in the group RL received feeds R and L from 18 to 28 and 28 to 49 days of age, respectively. Cecal bacterial communities of 10 rabbits per group were carried out at 18, 28, 35, 43 and 49 days of age by MiSeq Illumina sequencing 16S rRNA encoding genes. Between 18 and 28 days of age, solid feed intake was higher in the group RL compared to the other two groups (+24%; < 0.01). Overall, 13.4% of the OTUs detected were present in the cecal ecosystem from 18 to 49 days old, whereas 17.4% were acquired with the onset of solid feeding and kept from 28 days on. Exclusive milk consumption constrains the bacterial community toward a similar structure but high phylogenetic beta-diversity. Introduction of solid feed induced a sharp change of microbial community structure and decreased phylogenetic diversity. A strong relationship in bacterial community network occurred only from 43 days on. Our feeding strategy at the onset of solid feed ingestion exhibited only a moderate effect on the microbial community structure ( = 0.072), although the LL group seemed to reach faster maturity compared to the two other groups.

Alternate JournalFront Microbiol
PubMed ID31134019
PubMed Central IDPMC6524096