Comparative analysis of the pig gut microbiome associated with the pig growth performance
There are a variety of microorganisms in the animal intestine, and it has been known that they play important roles in the host such as suppression of potentially pathogenic microorganisms, modulation of the gut immunity. In addition, the gut microbiota and the livestock growth performance have long been known to be related. Therefore, we evaluated the interrelation between the growth performance and the gut microbiome of the pigs from 3 different farms, with pigs of varied ages ready to be supplied to the market. When pigs reached average market weight of 118 kg, the average age of pigs in three different farms were <180 days, about 190 days, and >200 days, respectively. Fecal samples were collected from pigs of age of 70 days, 100 days, 130 days, and 160 days. The output data of the 16S rRNA gene sequencing by the Illumina Miseq platform was filtered and analyzed using QIIME2, and the statistical analysis was performed using STAMP. The results of this study showed that the gut microbial communities shifted as pigs aged along with significant difference in the relative abundance of different phyla and genera in different age groups of pigs from each farm. Even though, there was no statistical differences among groups in terms of Chao1, the number of observed OTUs, and the Shannon index, our results showed higher abundances of <italic>Bifidobacterium, Clostridium</italic> and <italic>Lactobacillus</italic> in the feces of pigs with rapid growth rate. These results will help us to elucidate important gut microbiota that can affect the growth performance of pigs.