Journal of Applied Microbiology, Vol.127, No.2, 354-369, 2019
Gut microbiota of newborn piglets with intrauterine growth restriction have lower diversity and different taxonomic abundances
Aim Intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) is a prevalent problem in mammals. The present study was conducted to unveil the alterations in intestinal microbiota in IUGR piglets. Methods and Results We identified the alterations of small intestinal microbiota in IUGR piglets on 7, 21 and 28 days of age using 16S rRNA sequencing. The results showed that IUGR piglets had a decreased alpha diversity of jejunum microbiota at 7 and 21 days of age; had lower abundances of Bacteroidetes and Bacteroides in the jejunum at 7, 21 and 28 days of age, Oscillibacter in the jejunum at 21 days of age, and Firmicutes in the ileum at 21 days of age; whereas they had higher abundances of Proteobacteria and Pasteurella in the ileum at 21 days of age and Escherichia-Shigella in the jejunum at 28 days of age. Correlation analysis showed that Bacteroides, Oscillibacter and Ruminococcaceae_UCG-002 compositions were positively associated with the body weight (BW) of IUGR piglets, nevertheless Proteobacteria and Escherichia-Shigella relative abundances were negatively correlated with the BW of IUGR piglets. Gene function prediction analysis indicated that microbiota-associated carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, glycan biosynthesis and metabolism, amino acid metabolism, and xenobiotics biodegradation and metabolism were downregulated in the IUGR piglets compared to control piglets. Conclusions The present study profiled the intestinal microbiota of newborn piglets with IUGR and the newborn IUGR piglets have lower diversity and different taxonomic abundances. Alterations in the abundances of Bacteroidetes, Bacteroides, Proteobacteria Escherichia-Shigella and Pasteurella may be involved in nutrient digestion and absorption, as well as the potential mechanisms connecting to the growth and development of IUGR in mammals. Significance and Impact of the Study The small intestinal microbiota were highly shaped in the IUGR piglets, which might further mediate the growth and development of IUGR piglets; and the gut microbiota could serve as a potential target for IUGR treatment.