Host-microbiota interactions in ileum and caecum of pigs divergent in feed efficiency contribute to nutrient utilization

Henry Reyer, Michael Oster, Ursula M. McCormack, Eduard Muráni, Gillian E. Gardiner, Siriluck Ponsuksili, Peadar G. Lawlor, Klaus Wimmers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


The composition of the intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the digestion and utilization of nutrients and for gut health. Low-fiber diets stimulate digestion and absorption processes, predominantly in the upper region of the gastrointestinal tract, thereby increasing the conversion of feed into body weight. As a consequence, the chemical composition of digesta after duodenal and jejunal absorption processes and passage has a limited complexity affecting colonization and molecular profiles of enterocytes in the hind gut. To decipher ileal and caecal microbial ecosystems and host transcriptional profiles that are beneficial for effective use of the remaining nutrients, pigs differing in feeding efficiency were studied. Biological functions that were consistently enriched at both the gene and microbiota levels comprise immunity-related processes, which ensure the integrity of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, the differential abundance of certain genera, including Rothia, Subdoligranulu, Leeia and Cellulosilyticum, reflects the establishment of a microbial profile that supports the digestion of endogenously indigestible dietary components in highly feed-efficient pigs. Overall, the results indicate the potential to promote these beneficial functions and further improve feed efficiency through manipulation of dietary and probiotic strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number563
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • Caecum
  • Gene expression
  • Ileum
  • Residual feed intake


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