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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Accepted
doi: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.16.0836    [Accepted]
Dynamic changes of yak (Bos grunniens) gut microbiota during growth revealed by PCR-DGGE and metagenomics
Yuanyang Nie, Zhiwei Zhou, Jiuqiang Guan1, Baixue Xia, Xiaolin Luo1, Yang Yang, Yu Fu, Qun Sun*
College of Life Sciences, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
1Sichuan Grassland Science Academy, Chengdu, China
* Corresponding Author: Qun Sun ,Tel: +86 28 8541 8810, Fax: +86 28 8546 0487, Email: qunsun@scu.edu.cn
Received: October 26, 2016;  Revised: December 21, 2016.  Accepted: October 26, 2016.  Published online January 26, 2017.

To understand the dynamic structure, function, and influence on nutrient metabolism in hosts, it was crucial to assess the genetic potential of gut microbial community in yaks of different ages. Method: The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) profiles and Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing on colon content of 15 semi-domestic yaks were investigated. Unweighted pairwise grouping method with mathematical averages (UPGMA) clustering and principal component analysis (PCA) were used to analize the DGGE fingerprint. The Illumina sequences were assembled, predicted to genes and functional annotated, and then classified by querying protein sequences of the genes against the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) database.
Metagenomic sequencing showed that more than 85% of ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene sequences belonged to the phylum Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, indicating that the family Ruminococcaceae (46.5%), Rikenellaceae (11.3%), Lachnospiraceae (10.0%), and Bacteroidaceae (6.3%) were dominant gut microbes. Over 50% of non-rRNA gene sequences represented the metabolic pathways of amino acids (14.4%), proteins (12.3%), sugars (11.9%), nucleotides (6.8%), lipids (1.7%), xenobiotics (1.4%), coenzymes and vitamins (3.6%). Gene functional classification showed that most of enzyme-coding genes were related to cellulose digestion and amino acids metabolic pathways.
Yaks’ age had a substantial effect on gut microbial composition. Comparative metagenomics of gut microbiota in 0.5-, 1.5-, and 2.5-year-old yaks revealed that the abundance of the class Clostridia, Bacteroidia, and Lentisphaeria, as well as the phylum Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Lentisphaerae, Tenericutes and Cyanobacteria, varied more greatly during yaks’ growth, especially in young animals (0.5 and 1.5 years old). Gut microbes, including Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Lentisphaeria, make contribution to the energy metabolism and synthesis of amino acid, which are essential to the normal growth of yaks.
Keywords: PCR-DGGE; Metagenomic sequencing; Metabolic pathways; Gut microbiota; Yak
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