In addition to its value in meat production, the pig is an interesting animal model for human digestive tract studies due to its physiological similarities. The aim of this study was to describe the microbiome composition, distribution and interaction along the Iberian pig intestinal tract and its role in whole-body energy homeostasis. The V3-V4 region of the 16S rRNA gene was amplified and sequenced from the microbiomes of five gut sections (duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and proximal and distal colon) in thirteen castrated male pigs. A total of 1,669 operational taxonomic units distributed in 179 genera were found among all samples. The two most abundant genera in the small intestine were Lactobacillus and Clostridium, while Prevotella was predominant in the colon. The colon samples were more similar among the pigs and richer in species than the small intestine samples were. In the small intestine, the metagenome prediction pointed to rapid internalization and conversion of the available simple carbohydrates for microbial proliferation and maintenance. In the colon, a competition among anaerobic bacteria for plant polysaccharide degradation to produce short chain fatty acids was found. This study confirms that the energy pathways of the gut microbiome differ along its sections and provides a description of the correlations between genera.
Crespo-Piazuelo, D., Estellé, J., Revilla, M., Criado-Mesas, L., Ramayo-Caldas, Y., Óvilo, C., Fernández, A.I., Ballester, M., Folch, J.M. (2018). Characterization of bacterial microbiota compositions along the intestinal tract in pigs and their interactions and functions. Scientific Reports, 8(1):12727. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30932-6