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Evaluation of Changes in the Levels of Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes Phyla of Sheep Feces Depending on the Breed

  • Cholewińska, Paulina1
  • Wołoszyńska, Magdalena
  • Michalak, Marta
  • Czyż, Katarzyna1
  • Rant, Witold
  • Janczak, Marzena1
  • 1 (M.J.)
Published Article
Animals : an Open Access Journal from MDPI
Publication Date
Oct 16, 2020
DOI: 10.3390/ani10101901
PMID: 33081312
PMCID: PMC7603071
PubMed Central


Simple Summary The microbiome plays an important role in the digestive system of ruminants. It affects the health status of animals and their development and production rates. However, its composition may be influenced by factors such as diet, age, gender, and health condition. The study was conducted on three breeds of sheep that were kept in one environment and fed with the same feed. The microbiological analysis showed that the animal microbiome is also influenced by breed. Abstract Studies carried out so far have indicated the effect of the microbiome on the composition of ruminant products. Recent studies have shown that not only diet, but also genetic factors can affect the microbiological composition of the digestive system. The aim of the study was to determine the differences in the levels of selected bacterial phyla in terms of breed differences. Three sheep breeds, i.e., Olkuska, Romanov, and old-type Polish Merino, differing in their use (meat–wool, meat, prolificacy) and country of breed origin were included in the study. Sheep at the same age and of the same sex were kept for a period of 3 months in the same environmental conditions and fed the same feed in the same proportions. The study included real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) analysis of feces collected before the slaughter and measurements of body weight and chilled carcasses. The obtained results showed significant differences between the breeds in the levels of bacterial populations tested. There were also differences in body weight between the breeds during the first weight measurements, however, the final results did not show any differences—after three months of maintenance all of them reached similar body weights, despite differences in fecal microbiological composition. The study suggests that in addition to diet and environmental conditions, the microbiology can also be influenced by breed.

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