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Animals
Journal Prestige (SJR): 0.744
Citation Impact (citeScore): 2
Number of Followers: 11  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2076-2615
Published by MDPI Homepage  [84 journals]
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2517: Improvement in the Immunity- and Vitamin
           D3-Activity-Related Gene Expression of Coccidiosis-Challenged Ross 708
           Broilers in Response to the In Ovo Injection of 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 
           

    • Authors: Seyed Abolghasem Fatemi, Kenneth S. Macklin, Li Zhang, Ayoub Mousstaaid, Sabin Poudel, Ishab Poudel, Edgar David Peebles
      First page: 2517
      Abstract: Effects of the in ovo administration of two vitamin D3 sources (vitamin D3 (D3) and 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25OHD3)) on the expression of D3 activity- and immunity-related genes in broilers subjected to a coccidiosis infection were investigated. At 18 d of incubation (doi), five in ovo injection treatments were administrated to live embryonated Ross 708 broiler hatching eggs: non-injected (1) and diluent-injected (2) controls, or diluent injection containing 2.4 μg of D3 (3) or 2.4 μg of 25OHD3 (4), or their combination (5). Birds in the in ovo-injected treatments were challenged at 14 d of age (doa) with a 20× dosage of a live coccidial vaccine. At 14 and 28 doa, the expression of eight immunity-related genes (IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, TLR-4, TLR-15, MyD88, TGF-β4, and IFN-γ) and four D3 activity-related genes (1α-hydroxylase, 25-hydroxylase, 24-hydroxylase, and VDR) in the jejunum of one bird in each treatment–replicate group were evaluated. No significant treatment effects were observed for any of the genes before challenge. However, at 2 weeks post-challenge, the expression of 1α-hydroxylase, TGF-β4, and IL-10 increased in birds that received 25OHD3 alone in comparison to all the other in ovo-injected treatment groups. Additionally, the expression of 24-hydroxylase and IL-6 decreased in birds that received 25OHD3 in comparison to those injected with diluent or D3 alone. It was concluded that the in ovo injection of 2.4 μg of 25OHD3 may improve the intestinal immunity as well as the activity of D3 in Ross 708 broilers subjected to a coccidiosis challenge.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192517
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2523: Aquaponics as a Promising Strategy to
           Mitigate Impacts of Climate Change on Rainbow Trout Culture

    • Authors: Christos Vasdravanidis, Maria V. Alvanou, Athanasios Lattos, Dimitrios K. Papadopoulos, Ioanna Chatzigeorgiou, Maria Ravani, Georgios Liantas, Ioannis Georgoulis, Konstantinos Feidantsis, Georgios K. Ntinas, Ioannis A. Giantsis
      First page: 2523
      Abstract: The impact of climate change on both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems tends to become more progressively pronounced and devastating over the years. The sector of aquaculture is severely affected by natural abiotic factors, on account of climate change, that lead to various undesirable phenomena, including aquatic species mortalities and decreased productivity owing to oxidative and thermal stress of the reared organisms. Novel innovative technologies, such as aquaponics that are based on the co-cultivation of freshwater fish with plants in a sustainable manner under the context of controlled abiotic factors, represent a promising tool for mitigating the effect of climate change on reared fish. The rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) constitutes one of the major freshwater-reared fish species, contributing to the national economies of numerous countries, and more specifically, to regional development, supporting mountainous areas of low productivity. However, it is highly vulnerable to climate change effects, mainly due to the concrete raceways, in which it is reared, that are constructed on the flow-through of rivers and are, therefore, dependent on water’s physical properties. The current review study evaluates the suitability, progress, and challenges of developing innovative and sustainable aquaponic systems to rear rainbow trout in combination with the cultivation of plants. Although not commercially developed to a great extent yet, research has shown that the rainbow trout is a valuable experimental model for aquaponics that may be also commercially exploited in the future. In particular, abiotic factors required in rainbow trout farming along, with the high protein proportion required in the ratios due to the strict carnivorous feeding behavior, result in high nitrate production that can be utilized by plants as a source of nitrogen in an aquaponic system. Intensive farming of rainbow trout in aquaponic systems can be controlled using digital monitoring of the system parameters, mitigating the obstacles originating from extreme temperature fluctuations.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192523
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2525: Barley, an Undervalued Cereal for Poultry
           Diets: Limitations and Opportunities

    • Authors: W. Nipuna U. Perera, M. Reza Abdollahi, Faegheh Zaefarian, Timothy J. Wester, Velmurugu Ravindran
      First page: 2525
      Abstract: The supply of conventional cereal grains, especially of maize, will be a significant constraint to the future growth of the poultry industry. Various alternative feed ingredients are being tested to replace maize in poultry diets. Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is one such feed ingredient, the use of which remains limited in poultry diets due to its low metabolisable energy, presence of anti-nutritive, soluble non-starch polysaccharides and consequent inter-cultivar variability. Differences in research methodologies used in published studies have also contributed to the inconsistent findings, preventing a good understanding of the nutritional value of barley for poultry. The importance of using accurate nutrient profiles, specifically metabolisable energy and digestible amino acids, for specific barley cultivars to formulate barley-based diets is emphasised. Nutritionists should also pay close attention to feed processing conditions tailored to the specific barley cultivars to increase the barley inclusion in poultry diets.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192525
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2526: Survey of Management Practices and
           Farmers’ Perceptions of Diseases on Organic Dairy Cattle Farms in
           California

    • Authors: Sejin Cheong, Juliette Di Francesco, Kyuyoung Lee, Richard Van Vleck Pereira, Randi Black, Betsy Karle, Melissa Lema, Alda F. A. Pires
      First page: 2526
      Abstract: In 2019, California accounted for approximately 40% of organic products in the US, and dairy products and milk were the top organic commodity in the state. The objective of this study was to describe organic dairy cattle farmers’ management practices and perceptions of diseases in California. A survey inquiring about farm history and demographics, animal diseases, parasite problems, housing and pasture management, and organic education, was mailed to 160 organic dairy farms, of which 36 (22.5%) responded. Among respondents, the majority (83.9%) were located in Northern California; median farm size was 310 cows, and the dominant breed was Holstein (60.0%). Respondents were more likely to report mastitis in cows (45.2%), pinkeye in heifers (31.3%), and digestive problems in calves (47.0%), as issues affecting their stock “often” or “almost always” in the last 12 months. Although most farmers vaccinated their cattle against Bovine Viral Diarrhea (86.1%) and Escherichia coli mastitis (80.6%), they still described that these diseases frequently impacted their animals. Over half of the farmers did not perceive gastrointestinal parasites or biting flies to be a problem and did not observe signs of lice and mites. According to the results, the management of disease in all age classes is a concern; options and efficacies of alternative therapeutic methods, as well as preventive measures for organic dairies need to be further explored.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192526
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2527: Metabolomic Profiles in Starved Light Breed
           Horses during the Refeeding Process

    • Authors: Sawyer C. Main, Lindsay P. Brown, Kelly R. Melvin, Shawn R. Campagna, Brynn H. Voy, Hector F. Castro, Lewrell G. Strickland, Melissa T. Hines, Robert D. Jacobs, Mary E. Gordon, Jennie L. Z. Ivey
      First page: 2527
      Abstract: The large population of emaciated horses continues to be an issue troubling the equine industry. However, little is known regarding the collection of equine metabolites (metabolome) during a malnourished state and the changes that occur throughout nutritional rehabilitation. In this study, ten emaciated horses underwent a refeeding process, during which blood samples were collected for a blood chemistry panel and metabolomics analysis via ultrahigh performance liquid chromatography–high resolution mass spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS). Significant differences among blood chemistry analytes and metabolite abundance during the critical care period (CCP; Days 1–10 of rehabilitation) and the recovery period (RP; the remainder of the rehabilitation process) were observed. Potentially toxic compounds, analytes related to liver, kidney, and muscle function, as well as energy-related metabolites were altered during the refeeding process. The combination of blood chemistry and metabolomics analyses on starved equine during rehabilitation provide vital biological insight and evidence that the refeeding process has a significant impact on the equine metabolome.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-21
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192527
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2528: Effect of Lactobacillus reuteri S5
           Intervention on Intestinal Microbiota Composition of Chickens Challenged
           with Salmonella enteritidis

    • Authors: Shuiqin Shi, Duoqi Zhou, Yuan Xu, Jinsheng Dong, Yu Han, Guangyu He, Wenhui Li, Jie Hu, Yannan Liu, Kai Zhao
      First page: 2528
      Abstract: To understand the mechanism of lactic acid bacteria against Salmonella enteritidis infection; we examined how lactic acid bacteria regulated the intestinal microbiota to resist infection by pathogenic bacteria. The probiotic strain Lactobacillus reuteri S5 was used to construct an animal model of S. enteritidis infected broilers. A high-throughput sequencing technology was used to analyze the regulatory effects of L. reuteri S5 on the structure of the intestinal microbiota of broilers infected with S. enteritidis; and to examine the possible defense mechanism they used. Our results showed that the administration of L. reuteri S5 reduced colonization of S. enteritidis (p < 0.05), decreased intestinal permeability (p < 0.05), and reduced the bacterial displacement likely due by S. enteritidis colonization (p < 0.05), suggesting some enhancement of the intestinal barrier function. Furthermore, L. reuteri S5 increased the number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) in the chicken cecal microflora and the relative abundance of Lactobacillaceae and decreased the relative abundance of Enterobacteriaceae. These results suggest that the lactic acid bacterium L. reuteri S5 protected the intestinal microbiota of chickens against S. enteritidis infection.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192528
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2529: Short- and Long-Term Exposure to Heat Stress
           Differently Affect Performance, Blood Parameters, and Integrity of
           Intestinal Epithelia of Growing Pigs

    • Authors: Nydia Vásquez, Miguel Cervantes, Hugo Bernal-Barragán, Luis Edgar Rodríguez-Tovar, Adriana Morales
      First page: 2529
      Abstract: The effect of short- and long-term exposure to heat stress (HS) was analyzed on blood components, performance, and intestinal epithelium integrity of pigs. Eighteen pigs (36.0 ± 3.5 kg BW) were assigned to three groups: thermo-neutral (TN); 2 d exposure to HS (2dHS); and 7 d exposure to HS (7dHS). Blood chemistry and hemogram analyses were performed; small intestine samples were analyzed for mRNA expression and histology. Compared to TN, 2dHS and 7dHS pigs reduced weight gain and feed intake; weight gain was higher in 7dHS than in 2dHS pigs (p < 0.05). White blood cells, platelet, and hematocrit were affected in 2dHS and 7dHS compared to TN pigs (p < 0.05). Short- and long-term exposure to HS affected blood concentration of triglycerides, urea, total protein, and albumin (p ≤ 0.05). Villi-height and crypt-depth decreased in HS pigs (p < 0.01). Mucin-producing and apoptotic cell number increased in 7dHS compared to TN pigs (p < 0.05). Expression of tight-junction-proteins decreased in 2dHS pigs compared to TN and 7dHS pigs (p < 0.05). Short-term exposure of pigs to HS dramatically affects performance, blood components, and integrity of the small intestine epithelia; nevertheless, pigs show signs of recovery at 7 d of HS exposure.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192529
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2530: Comparison of Cattle Housing Systems Based
           on the Criterion of Damage to Barn Equipment and Construction Errors

    • Authors: Marek Gaworski, Michał Boćkowski
      First page: 2530
      Abstract: Dairy cattle housing systems are the subject of numerous studies, in which a strong emphasis is placed on the comparison of animal welfare, animal behavior, production indicators and labor inputs. Dairy cattle housing systems are linked to specific livestock buildings, which is a prerequisite for undertaking studies comparing barns and their technical equipment. The aim of the study was to compare barns with two types of housing systems, i.e., tie-stall and freestall, including the identification of technical wear in various areas used by animals. This objective was linked to the assessment of animal health problems in livestock facilities. The research covered 38 dairy farms, 19 of which kept cows in the tie-stall system and 19 in the freestall system. The barns in these farms were examined for technical damage and construction errors, assessed in four areas: lying, feeding, milking and social. The research results confirmed significant differences in the degree of damage to technical equipment in individual areas of barns and between barns with tie-stall and freestall housing systems. The conclusions indicate the need to link the degradation of barns and their technical equipment, as well as design errors with the evaluation of dairy cattle welfare in future studies.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192530
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2531: Methods of Radiographic Measurements of
           Heart and Left Atrial Size in Dogs with and without Myxomatous Mitral
           Valve Disease: Intra- and Interobserver Agreement and Practicability of
           Different Methods

    • Authors: Charanthorn Levicar, Ingo Nolte, José Luis Granados-Soler, Fritjof Freise, Jonathan Friedemann Raue, Jan-Peter Bach
      First page: 2531
      Abstract: Dogs suffering from Myxomatous Mitral Valve Disease (MMVD) show a potential heart enlargement, especially in the left atrium, detectable by radiography. Due to digital radiography, different radiographic measurements estimate cardiac size quite uncomplicatedly. The Vertebral Heart Size (VHS), Radiographic Left Atrial Dimension (RLAD), Left Atrial Width (LAWidth), and the Vertebral Left Atrial Size (VLAS) used anatomical landmarks for measuring cardiac size in relation to the vertebral column. This study aimed to compare VHS, RLAD, LAWidth, and VLAS measured in conventional and inverted radiographs by veterinarians with different levels of experience in healthy dogs and dogs with MMVD. The reliability and user-friendliness of these measurements were evaluated, and the staging was compared to the echocardiography staging. A total of 50 unaffected dogs and 150 dogs with MMVD in stages B1, B2, and C were assessed. Three veterinarians with different levels of experience examined 200 conventional radiographs and their corresponding inverted radiographs blinded to the echocardiographic and clinical examination results. Analyses were performed to compare the measurements’ grading and determine anatomical landmarks with measurement difficulties. Additionally, inter- and intraobserver agreement was assessed using intraclass correlation coefficient, and the agreement between radiographic and echocardiographic staging was compared using the kappa coefficient. The VHS, LAWidth, and VLAS were easier to define than the RLAD. The interobserver agreement was almost perfect for VHS (0.962) and good for the other radiographic measurements (RLAD: 0.778, LAWidth: 0.772, VLAS: 0.858). The VHS assigned the most dogs to the correct stage. However, VHS, RLAD, LAWidth, and VLAS presented an almost perfect intraobserver agreement. The dorsal left atrial margin of the RLAD was the most difficult measurement point to identify. The VHS is the most reproducible radiographic method for measuring the canine heart size and shows the highest agreement with echocardiography. An observer-related influence could be detected for RLAD, LAWidth, and VLAS.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192531
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2532: A Comparison of Aerodynamic Parameters in
           Two Subspecies of the American Barn Owl (Tyto furcata)

    • Authors: Hermann Wagner, Paolo Michael Piedrahita
      First page: 2532
      Abstract: Aerodynamic parameters, such as wing loading, are important indicators of flight maneuverability. We studied two subspecies of the American Barn owl (Tyto furcata), the North American subspecies, T.f.pratincola, and the Galapagos subspecies, T.f.punctatissima, with respect to aerodynamic parameters and compared our findings with those in other owl and bird species. The body mass of T.f.pratincola is about two times higher than that of T.f.punctatissima. Wing loading between the two subspecies scales allometrically. Wing loading in T.f.pratincola is about 50% higher than in T.f.punctatissima. The scaling of wing length is not statistically different from the prediction for isometric scaling. By contrast, the wing chord in T.f.punctatissima is larger than predicted by isometric scaling, as is the wing area. The scaling of wing loading observed here for T.f.punctatissima differs considerably from the scaling in other owl and bird species as available in the literature. We speculate that the allometric scaling helps T.f.punctatissima to catch smaller prey such, as insects that are found in many pellets of T.f.punctatissima, despite the fact that in both subspecies, small rodents make up most of the diet.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192532
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2533: Novel Proteoliposome-Based Vaccine against
           E. coli: A Potential New Tool for the Control of Bovine Mastitis

    • Authors: John Quiroga, Sonia Vidal, Daniela Siel, Mario Caruffo, Andrea Valdés, Gonzalo Cabrera, Lissette Lapierre, Leonardo Sáenz
      First page: 2533
      Abstract: Escherichia coli is an important causative agent of clinical mastitis in cattle. Current available vaccines have shown limited protection. We evaluated the efficacy of a novel vaccine based on bacterial proteoliposomes derived from an E. coli field strain. Female BALB/c mice were immunized subcutaneously with two doses of the vaccine, 3 weeks apart. Between days 5 and 8 after the first inoculation, the females were mated. At 5–8 days postpartum, the mice were intramammary challenged with the same E. coli strain. Two days after bacterial infection, mice were euthanized, and the mammary glands were examined and removed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the vaccine as well as the immune response generated by the new formulation. The vaccinated mice showed mild clinical symptoms and a lower mammary bacterial load as compared to non-vaccinated animals. The vaccination induced an increase in levels of IgG, IgG1 and IgG2a against E. coli in blood and mammary glands that showed less inflammatory infiltration and tissue damage, as compared to the control group. In summary, the vaccine based on bacterial proteoliposomes is safe, immunogenic, and effective against E. coli, constituting a new potential tool for mastitis control.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192533
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2534: Relationships between Biomarkers of
           Oxidative Stress in Seminal Plasma and Sperm Motility in Bulls before and
           after Cryopreservation

    • Authors: Veronica Vigolo, Elisa Giaretta, Laura Da Dalt, Jana Damiani, Gianfranco Gabai, Federica Bertuzzo, Maria Elena Falomo
      First page: 2534
      Abstract: This study aimed at evaluating the relationship between biomarkers of oxidative stress (OS) in seminal plasma and sperm motility in bulls before and after cryopreservation. Three ejaculates per bull were collected from 20 young bulls. Each ejaculate was analyzed for motility before and after cryopreservation (by CASA), and the SP concentration of Advanced Oxidation Protein Products (AOPP), thiols, and carbonyl groups (CT) were examined. Then, based on their motility, the ejaculates were grouped into: high motility fresh (HMF), low motility fresh (LMF), high motility thawed (HMT), and low motility thawed (LMT) groups. Higher AOPP and thiol concentrations on SP were related (p < 0.05) to the higher LIN and BCF and lower ALH of fresh semen. In addition, AOPP and thiols were significantly higher in HMF than LMF. As a confirmation of this, the Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis showed that AOPP and thiol concentrations in SP were able to discriminate between HMF and LMF ejaculates (Area Under the Curve of 71.67% and 72.04%, respectively). These observations give an alternative perspective on the relationship between sperm motility and the OS parameters of SP, which need further investigations.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192534
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2535: Influence of Cold Environments on Growth,
           Antioxidant Status, Immunity and Expression of Related Genes in Lambs

    • Authors: Lulu Shi, Yuanqing Xu, Xiao Jin, Zheqi Wang, Chenyu Mao, Shiwei Guo, Sumei Yan, Binlin Shi
      First page: 2535
      Abstract: Cold climates may be a risk to the health and welfare of lambs during winter because cold environments alter the physiological processes of lambs, and we used cold environments with three different temperature gradients—an indoor heating control group (IHC) using electric heating; an indoor temperature group (IT) with intermittent and slight degrees of stimulation of coldness; an outdoor temperature group (OT) exposed to cold environments in an external natural environment. The results showed that the lambs in the OT group had a greater decrease in the average daily gain (ADG) and increase in the average daily feed intake (ADFI) and the feed-to-gain ratio (F:G) compared to the other two groups. The decrease in immunoglobulin A (IgA) and interleukin 2 (IL-2) contents and IL-2 gene expression, and the increase in tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) content and TNF-α and nuclear factor kappa-B p65 (NF-κB p65) gene expressions in the OT group suggested that the lambs had a compromised immune status in cold environments. Moreover, the decrease in catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GPx), total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD), and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) levels, and CAT, GPx, SOD1, SOD2, and nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) gene expressions, and the increase in malondialdehyde (MDA) in the OT group suggested that the lambs had a lower antioxidant defense capacity in cold environments. Thus, in extreme cold, lambs kept outdoors could reduce growth, immune function and antioxidant status. However, shelter feeding in winter could relieve the stress of cold environments on lambs, and housing with heating equipment was more conducive to the improve growth, immune, and antioxidant function of the lambs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192535
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2536: Ruminal Fiber Degradation Kinetics within
           and among Warm-Season Annual Grasses as Affected by the Brown Midrib
           Mutation

    • Authors: Gonzalo Ferreira, Hailey Galyon, Ayelen I. Silva-Reis, Agustin A. Pereyra, Emily S. Richardson, Christy L. Teets, Phil Blevins, Rebecca R. Cockrum, Matías J. Aguerre
      First page: 2536
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to compare the nutritional composition and the neutral detergent fiber (NDF) degradation kinetics of brown midrib (BMR) and non-BMR genotypes within and across warm-season annual grasses. Four commercial varieties (two non-BMR and two BMR) of corn, sorghum, and pearl millet were planted in plots. Forage samples were incubated in the rumen of three rumen-cannulated cows for 0, 3, 6, 12, 24, 48, 96, and 240 h. On an NDF basis, all forage types showed lower acid detergent lignin (ADL) concentrations for BMR genotypes, but the magnitude of the difference differed among forage types. The concentration of undegraded NDF (uNDF; NDF basis) differed among forage types and between genotypes. Corn had the least, pearl millet had the intermediate, and sorghum had the greatest concentration of uNDF. Non-BMR genotypes had greater concentrations of uNDF than BMR genotypes. No interaction existed between forage type and genotype for the concentration of uNDF. In conclusion, although BMR forages may show lower ADL concentrations in the cell wall and greater NDF degradability than non-BMR forages of the same forage type, BMR forages do not always have the least ADL concentration or the greatest NDF degradability when comparing different forage types.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192536
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2537: Cryopreservation of Hydractinia
           symbiolongicarpus Sperm to Support Community-Based Repository Development
           for Preservation of Genetic Resources

    • Authors: Aidan L. Huene, Jack C. Koch, Lucía Arregui, Yue Liu, Matthew L. Nicotra, Virginia M. Weis, Terrence R. Tiersch
      First page: 2537
      Abstract: Hydractinia symbiolongicarpus is an emerging model organism in which cutting-edge genomic tools and resources are being developed for use in a growing number of research fields. One limitation of this model system is the lack of long-term storage for genetic resources. The goal of this study was to establish a generalizable cryopreservation approach for Hydractinia that would support future repository development for other cnidarian species. Specific objectives were to: (1) characterize basic parameters related to sperm quality; (2) develop a generalizable approach for sperm collection; (3) assess the feasibility of in vitro fertilization (IVF) with sperm after refrigerated storage; (4) assess the feasibility of IVF with sperm cryopreserved with various sperm concentrations; (5) evaluate feasibility of cryopreservation with various freezing conditions, and (6) explore the feasibility of cryopreservation by use of a 3-D printed open-hardware (CryoKit) device. Animal husbandry and sperm collection were facilitated by use of 3-D printed open hardware. Hydractinia sperm at a concentration of 2 × 107 cells/mL stored at 4 °C for 6 d were able to achieve 50% fertilization rate. It appeared that relatively higher sperm concentration (>5 × 107 cells/mL) for cryopreservation could promote fertilization. A fertilization rate of 41–69% was observed using sperm equilibrated with 5, 10, or 15% (v/v) cryoprotectant (dimethyl sulfoxide or methanol) for 20 min, cooled at a rate of 5, 10, or 20 °C/min from 4 °C to −80 °C, at a cell concentration of 108/mL, in 0.25 mL French straws. Samples cryopreserved with the CryoKit produced a fertilization rate of 72–82%. Establishing repository capabilities for the Hydractinia research community will be essential for future development, maintenance, protection, and distribution of genetic resources. More broadly, these generalizable approaches can be used as a model to develop germplasm repositories for other cnidarian species.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192537
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2538: Effects of Stocking Density on Fatty Acid
           Metabolism by Skeletal Muscle in Mice

    • Authors: Qiuyan Chen, Xiaohui Li, Jiarun Cui, Caiyun Xu, Hongfei Wei, Qian Zhao, Hongli Yao, Hailong You, Dawei Zhang, Huimei Yu
      First page: 2538
      Abstract: Specific pathogen-free (SPF) grade laboratory animals are kept in specific cages for life. The limited space could affect the characterization of colonization and dynamic changes related to gut microorganisms, and affect adipokines, even further affecting the fat synthesis and muscle quality of animals. The objective of this study was to analyze the stocking density on the dynamic distribution of gut microbiota, fat synthesis and muscle quality of SPF grade Kunming mice. Three housing densities were accomplished by raising different mice per cage with the same floor size. Kunming mice were reared at low stocking density (LSD, three mice a group), medium stocking density (MSD, 5 mice a group), and high stocking density (HSD, 10 mice a group) for 12 weeks. The results demonstrated that the stocking density affected intestinal microbial flora composition. We found that compared with the MSD group, the abundance of Lactobacillus in the LSD group and the HSD group decreased, but the abundance of unclassified_Porphyromonadaceae increased. Moreover, fat synthesis and muscle quality were linked to the intestinal microbial flora and stocking density. Compared with the LSD group and the HSD group, the MSD group had a more balanced gut flora, higher fat synthesis and higher muscle quality. Overall, this study demonstrated that stocking density could affect gut microbiota composition, and reasonable stocking density could improve fat synthesis and muscle quality. Our study will provide theoretical support for the suitable stocking density of laboratory animals.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192538
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2539: Maternal Dietary Supplementation with
           γ-Aminobutyric Acid Alleviated Oxidative Stress in Gestating Sows
           and Their Offspring by Regulating GABRP

    • Authors: Xiaoyi Liu, Lili Jiang, Jiaman Pang, Yujun Wu, Yu Pi, Jianjun Zang, Junjun Wang, Dandan Han
      First page: 2539
      Abstract: Sows usually suffer oxidative stress during gestation, and this limits the growth of fetuses via placenta. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a functional nonessential amino acid engaged in regulating the physiological status of animals. However, the effects of GABA on the oxidative homeostasis of sows and their offspring remain unclear. Eighteen late gestating sows (85 d) were divided into the CON and GABA groups and fed the basal diet and the GABA diet (200 mg/kg GABA), respectively, until farrowing. At parturition, the sows’ litter characteristics, the plasma antioxidant parameters of sows, and their offspring were evaluated. The results showed that GABA supplementation had no marked effect on the reproductive performance of sows (p > 0.10) but had a trend of reducing the amount of intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) in piglets (0.05 < p < 0.10). At the same time, the addition of GABA elevated the plasma superoxide dismutase (SOD) level of sows and enhanced the glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) activity of newborn piglets (p < 0.05). Based on the H2O2-induced oxidative stress in pTr-2 cells, GABA elevated intracellular GSH-Px, SOD, catalase (CAT), and total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC, p < 0.01) and upregulated the gene expressions of CAT, gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor (GABRP), and nuclear factor-erythroid 2-related factor-2 (Nrf2) in H2O2-treated pTr-2 cells (p < 0.05). Taken together, GABA improved the antioxidant capacity of sows and alleviated the placental oxidative stress by upregulating the GABRP and Nrf2 genes, which have the potential to promote oxidative homeostasis in newborn piglets.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192539
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2540: A “Good Life” for Dairy Cattle:
           Developing and Piloting a Framework for Assessing Positive Welfare
           Opportunities Based on Scientific Evidence and Farmer Expertise

    • Authors: Jessica E. Stokes, Elizabeth Rowe, Siobhan Mullan, Joy C. Pritchard, Rachel Horler, Marie J. Haskell, Cathy M. Dwyer, David C. J. Main
      First page: 2540
      Abstract: On-farm welfare assessment tends to focus on minimising negative welfare, but providing positive welfare is important in order to give animals a good life. This study developed a positive welfare framework for dairy cows based on the existing scientific literature which has focused on developing positive welfare indicators, and trialled a participatory approach with farmers; refining the framework based on their recommendations, followed by a vet pilot phase on farm. The results revealed that farmers and scientists agree on what constitutes “a good life” for dairy cattle. Farmers value positive welfare because they value their cows’ quality of life, and want to be proud of their work, improve their own wellbeing as well as receive business benefits. For each good life resource, the proportion of farmers going above and beyond legislation ranged from 27 to 84%. Furthermore, barriers to achieving positive welfare opportunities, including monetary and time costs, were not apparently insurmountable if implementation costs were remunerated (by the government). However, the intrinsic value in providing such opportunities also incentivises farmers. Overall, most farmers appeared to support positive welfare assessment, with the largest proportion (50%) supporting its use within existing farm assurance schemes, or to justify national and global marketing claims. Collaborating with farmers to co-create policy is crucial to showcase and quantify the UK’s high welfare standards, and to maximise engagement, relevance and uptake of animal welfare policy, to ensure continuous improvement and leadership in the quality of lives for farm animals.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192540
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2541: Hemp in Animal Diets—Cannabidiol

    • Authors: Sepideh Fallahi, Łukasz Bobak, Sebastian Opaliński
      First page: 2541
      Abstract: In recent years, interest in hemp use has grown owing to its chemical and medicinal properties. Several parts of this plant, such as seeds, leaves, flowers, and stems are used in medicine, industry, and environmental preservation. Although there were legal restrictions on hemp exploitation in some countries due to the trace presence of THC as a psychoactive element, many countries have legalized it in recent years. Cannabidiol or CBD is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid that can activate the endocannabinoid system and its receptors in the central and peripheral nervous system in bodies of different species. Cannabidiol has anti-inflammatory, antioxidative, analgesic, and anti-depressant effects. This review investigates various aspects of cannabidiol use and its potential in animals and humans.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192541
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2542: Genome-Wide Association Study for Udder
           Conformation Traits in Chinese Holstein Cattle

    • Authors: Mudasir Nazar, Ismail Mohamed Abdalla, Zhi Chen, Numan Ullah, Yan Liang, Shuangfeng Chu, Tianle Xu, Yongjiang Mao, Zhangping Yang, Xubin Lu
      First page: 2542
      Abstract: Udder conformation traits are one of the most economic traits in dairy cows, greatly affecting animal health, milk production, and producer profitability in the dairy industry. Genetic analysis of udder structure and scores have been developed in Holstein cattle. In our research, we conducted a genome-wide association study for five udder traits, including anterior udder attachment (AUA), central suspensory ligament (CSL), posterior udder attachment height (PUAH), posterior udder attachment width (PUAW), and udder depth (UD), in which the fixed and random model circulating probability unification (FarmCPU) model was applied for the association analysis. The heritability and the standard errors of these five udder traits ranged from 0.04 ± 0.00 to 0.49 ± 0.03. Phenotype data were measured from 1000 Holstein cows, and the GeneSeek Genomic Profiler (GGP) Bovine 100 K SNP chip was used to analyze genotypic data in Holstein cattle. For GWAS analysis, 984 individual cows and 84,407 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) remained after quality control; a total of 18 SNPs were found at the GW significant threshold (p < 5.90 × 10−7). Many candidate genes were identified within 200kb upstream or downstream of the significant SNPs, which include MGST1, MGST2, MTUS1, PRKN, STXBP6, GRID2, E2F8, CDH11, FOXP1, SLF1, TMEM117, SBF2, GC, ADGRB3, and GCLC. Pathway analysis revealed that 58 Gene Ontology (GO) terms and 18 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were enriched with adjusted p values, and these GO terms and the KEGG pathway analysis were associated with biological information, metabolism, hormonal growth, and development processes. These results could give valuable biological information for the genetic architecture of udder conformation traits in dairy Holstein cattle.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-22
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192542
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2543: Dietary Ground Flaxseed Increases Serum
           Alpha-Linolenic Acid Concentrations in Adult Cats

    • Authors: Matthew R. Panasevich, Leighann Daristotle, Ryan M. Yamka, Nolan Z. Frantz
      First page: 2543
      Abstract: We evaluated effects of dietary ground flaxseed on fecal and serum alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) concentrations, nutrient digestibility, and stool quality in female and male adult cats (n = 20 (8 males, 12 females); 3.95 ± 1.49 years of age (mean ± SD); 3.88 ± 0.82 kg BW). We hypothesized that adding ground flaxseed would increase serum ALA compared with feeding no flax, without changing nutrient digestibility. Cats were fed as-is 2.6% added-flaxseed (flax, n = 10) or no-flax (control, n = 10) diets (2.66 vs. 0.78% ALA of total fatty acids; crude protein 35%, fat 20%, fiber 3% as-fed) twice daily to maintain body weight for 28 days. Fecal collections were conducted on days 23–27 for total-tract nutrient digestibility, stool quality (scale 1–5; 1 = watery diarrhea, 5 = hard, dry, crumbly) and long-chain fatty acid (LCFA) analyses. Blood was collected on days 0, 14, and 28 for serum LCFA and chemistry analysis. Digestibility and fecal data were analyzed by ANOVA (SAS v9.4, Cary, NC, USA) and a repeated measures ANOVA for serum ALA. Flax-fed cats, compared with control-fed, had greater (p < 0.05) serum ALA after 14 days (4.00 vs. 0.71 µg/mL) and 28 days (7.83 and 3.67 µg/mL). No differences were observed in stool quality, and dry matter, protein, fat, and ALA digestibility. However, metabolizable energy was greater in the flax vs. control diet (4.18 vs. 3.91 kcal/g; p < 0.05). Overall, these data demonstrate that ground flaxseed added to cat diets increases serum ALA within 14 days, with no detriments to nutrient digestibility. We conclude that flaxseed can be used as a bioavailable source of ALA in cat diets.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192543
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2544: The Use of Camera Traps and Auxiliary
           Satellite Telemetry to Estimate Jaguar Population Density in Northwestern
           Costa Rica

    • Authors: Víctor H. Montalvo, Carolina Sáenz-Bolaños, Juan C. Cruz-Díaz, Eduardo Carrillo, Todd K. Fuller
      First page: 2544
      Abstract: Regular evaluation of jaguar (Panthera onca) population status is an important part of conservation decision-making. Currently, camera trapping has become the standard method used to estimate jaguar abundance and demographic parameters, though evidence has shown the potential for sex ratio biases and density overestimates. In this study, we used camera trap data combined with satellite telemetry data from one female jaguar to estimate jaguar population density in the dry forest of Santa Rosa National Park in the Guanacaste Conservation Area of northwestern Costa Rica. We analyzed camera trap data collected from June 2016 to June 2017 using spatial capture-recapture methods to estimate jaguar density. In total, 19 individual jaguars were detected (11 males; 8 females) with a resulting estimated population density of 2.6 females (95% [CI] 1.7–4.0) and 5.0 male (95% [CI] 3.4–7.4) per 100 km2. Based on telemetry and camera trap data, camera placement might bias individual detections by sex and thus overall density estimates. We recommend population assessments be made at several consecutive 3-month intervals, that larger areas be covered so as not to restrict surveys to one or two individual home ranges, as in our case, and to carry out long-term camera monitoring programs instead of short-term studies to better understand the local population, using auxiliary telemetry data to adjust field designs and density estimations to improve support for jaguar conservation strategies.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192544
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2545: What Happens in Male Dogs after Treatment
           with a 4.7 mg Deslorelin Implant' II. Recovery of Testicular Function
           after Implant Removal

    • Authors: Sabrina Stempel, Hanna Körber, Larena Reifarth, Gerhard Schuler, Sandra Goericke-Pesch
      First page: 2545
      Abstract: Although deslorelin slow-release implants are widely used in the clinic, detailed published information about the recovery of testosterone concentrations (T), semen quality, and testicular and prostatic volume (TV, PV) after treatment is still missing. This article aims to characterize changes during restart after a five-months treatment and subsequent implant removal. Seven male Beagle dogs were treated with deslorelin (treatment group, TG), and three saline-treated dogs served as controls (CG). Deslorelin implants were removed after five months (D ex), followed by detailed andrological examinations for TV, PV, semen collection, and blood sampling for T-analysis with/without GnRH/hCG stimulation tests. TV, PV, and T increased rapidly after D ex in TG, not differing from CG from D91 (TV), D49 (PV), and D14 (T). The first sperm-containing ejaculates were collected between D49 and 70, whereas the samples were normospermic between D84 and 133. A T increase (>0.1 ng/mL) subsequent to the GnRH/hCG stimulation test was observed from D28/29 onwards, respectively. Histological assessment of testicular tissue at the end of the observational period (D149 after implant removal) revealed normal spermatogenesis. Our data confirm that the restart of endocrine and germinative testicular function is highly variable, but nevertheless, all of the effects induced were reversible.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192545
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2546: The European Pine Marten Martes martes
           (Linnaeus, 1758) Is Autochthonous in Sicily and Constitutes a
           Well-Characterised Major Phylogroup within the Species (Carnivora,
           Mustelidae)

    • Authors: Luca Vecchioni, Federico Marrone, Simone Costa, Calogero Muscarella, Elena Carra, Vincenzo Arizza, Marco Arculeo, Francesco Paolo Faraone
      First page: 2546
      Abstract: No molecular data are currently available for the Sicilian populations of the European pine marten Martes martes, thus preventing any sound inference about its native or non-native status on the island, as well as the local phylogeography of the species. In order to investigate these issues, we sequenced two mtDNA markers in road-killed specimens collected in Sicily. Both markers consistently demonstrated the existence of a well-characterised Sicilian clade of the species, which is endemic to the island and constitutes the sister group of a clade including the Mediterranean and Central–North European major phylogroups of the European pine marten. Such evidence supports the autochthony of Martes martes in Sicily and points to a natural Pleistocene colonisation of the island followed by isolation. The occurrence of a, to date undetected, major phylogroup of the species in Sicily calls for the dedicated monitoring of the Sicilian populations of the species in order to preserve this evolutionarily significant unit.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192546
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2547: Effect of Adropin on Pancreas Exocrine
           Function in a Rat Model: A Preliminary Study

    • Authors: Małgorzata Kapica, Iwona Puzio, Beata Abramowicz, Barbara Badzian, Siemowit Muszyński, Ewa Tomaszewska
      First page: 2547
      Abstract: The aim was to investigate the potential effect of adropin (ADR) on pancreatic–biliary juice (PBJ) secretion (volume, protein content, trypsin activity) in a rat model. The animals were divided into control and five experimental groups: adropin, CCK-8 (CCK-8 stimulation), capsaicin (capsaicin deactivation of afferents), vagotomy (vagotomy procedure), and vagal stimulation (vagal nerve stimulation). The experiment consisted of four phases, during which vehicle (0.9% NaCl) and three ADR boluses (5, 10, and 20 µg/kg BW) were administered i.v. every 30 min. PBJ samples were collected from each rat at 15 min intervals after boluses. Exogenous ADR failed to affect the pancreatic responses after vagotomy and the capsaicin pretreatment and reduced the PBJ volume, protein outputs, and trypsin activity in the adropin, CCK-8, and vagal stimulation groups in a dose-dependent manner. In all these groups, volume of PBJ was reduced only by the highest dose of ADR (p < 0.001 for adropin group and p < 0.01 for CCK-8 and vagal stimulation groups), and the protein outputs were reduced by the administration of ADR 10 µg/kg BW (adropin and CCK-8 groups, p < 0.01 in both cases) and 20 µg/kg BW (p < 0.001 for adropin and CCK-8 groups, p < 0.01 for vagal stimulation group). The 10 µg/kg BW dose of ADR reduced the trypsin output in the CCK-8 group (p < 0.01), and the highest ADR dose reduced the trypsin output in the CCK-8 (p < 0.001) and vagal stimulation (p < 0.01) groups. In conclusion, adropin in the analyzed doses exhibits the negative feedback pathway. This mechanism seems to participate in the regulation of pancreatic juice secretion via an indirect vagal mechanism.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192547
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2548: Terminal Crossbreeding of Murciano-Granadina
           Goats with Boer Bucks: Characteristics of the Carcass and the Meat

    • Authors: Ión Pérez-Baena, Cristòfol Peris, Nemesio Fernández, Jorge Franch-Dasí, Cristhian Sagbay, Julio Cesar Terán-Piña, Martín Rodríguez
      First page: 2548
      Abstract: After verifying productive improvements from the crossbreeding (MB) of Boer males with females of the Murciano-Granadina (MG) breed, the aim of this work was to determine its consequences on the carcass and meat characteristics of suckling kids (9 kg of weight at slaughter) of both sexes. A total of 94 kids (25 purebred MG males, 19 purebred MG females, 25 crossed MB males and 25 crossed MB females) were used. It was found that MB kids reached slaughter weight at a younger age (44 ± 1 vs. 63 ± 1 days, p < 0.001). For carcass yield, the interaction genotype x sex was observed, where MB females presented a higher value (51.71 ± 0.34%) than the rest of the animals (MB males 50.53 ± 0.34, p < 0.05; MG males 50.60 ± 0.34, p < 0.05; MG females 49.62 ± 0.39, p < 0.001). MB kids had greater leg compactness, (36.28 ± 0.27 vs. 34.71 ± 0.29 g/cm, p < 0.001), slightly improved expensive carcass cuts (75.93 ± 0.31 vs. 74.77 ± 0.34%, p = 0.014) and higher muscle/bone (2.93 ± 0.03 vs. 2.76 ± 0.03, p < 0.001) and meat/bone ratios (3.56 ± 0.04 vs. 3.36 ± 0.04, p < 0.001) than MG kids. They also showed a somewhat more intense red colour (8.57 ± 0.25 vs. 7.74 ± 0.27, p = 0.027), higher colour saturation (9.06 ± 0.24 vs. 8.20 ± 0.26, p = 0.016) and less meat firmness (1.95 ± 0.08 vs. 2.23 ± 0.081 kg/cm2, p = 0.021). On the other hand, males had a slightly improved proportion of expensive cuts (75.98 ± 0.31 vs. 74.73 ± 0.34, p = 0.008), but their carcass contained a higher proportion of bone (22.16 ± 0.21 vs. 21.17 ± 0.17%; p < 0.001), a lower proportion of intermuscular fat (9.54 ± 0.24 vs. 10.93 ± 0.24, p < 0.001), a higher muscle/fat ratio (5.01 ± 0.10 vs. 4.41 ± 0.10, p < 0.001) and lower muscle/bone (2.80 ± 0.03 vs. 2.89 ± 0.03%, p = 0.016) and meat/bone ratios (3.36 ± 0.04 vs. 3.56 ± 0.04%, p < 0.001) than females. There were no sensory differences in any case. It is concluded that this crossbreeding strategy also improves the carcass and meat characteristics, making it a valid alternative to improve the productive results of MG dairy goat herds.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192548
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2549: Island Hopping through Urban Filters:
           Anthropogenic Habitats and Colonized Landscapes Alter Morphological and
           Performance Traits of an Invasive Amphibian

    • Authors: James Baxter-Gilbert, Julia L. Riley, Carla Wagener, Cláudia Baider, F. B. Vincent Florens, Peter Kowalski, May Campbell, John Measey
      First page: 2549
      Abstract: A prominent feature of the modern era is the increasing spread of invasive species, particularly within island and urban ecosystems, and these occurrences provide valuable natural experiments by which evolutionary and invasion hypotheses can be tested. In this study, we used the invasion route of guttural toads (Sclerophrys gutturalis) from natural-native and urban-native populations (Durban, South Africa) to their urban-invasive and natural-invasive populations (Mauritius and Réunion) to determine whether phenotypic changes that arose once the toads became urbanized in their native range have increased their invasive potential before they were transported (i.e., prior adaptation) or whether the observed changes are unique to the invasive populations. This urban/natural by native/invasive gradient allowed us to examine differences in guttural toad morphology (i.e., body size, hindlimb, and hindfoot length) and performance capacity (i.e., escape speed, endurance, and climbing ability) along their invasion route. Our findings indicate that invasive island populations have reduced body sizes, shorter limbs in relation to snout-vent length, decreased escape speeds, and decreased endurance capacities that are distinct from the native mainland populations (i.e., invasion-derived change). Thus, these characteristics did not likely arise directly from a pre-transport anthropogenic “filter” (i.e., urban-derived change). Climbing ability, however, did appear to originate within the urban-native range and was maintained within the invasive populations, thereby suggesting it may have been a prior adaptation that provided this species with an advantage during its establishment in urban areas and spread into natural forests. We discuss how this shift in climbing performance may be ecologically related to the success of urban and invasive guttural toad populations, as well as how it may have impacted other island-derived morphological and performance phenotypes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192549
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2550: Effects of Compound Feed Attractants on
           Growth Performance, Feed Utilization, Intestinal Histology, Protein
           Synthesis, and Immune Response of White Shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei)

    • Authors: He, Chen, Zeng, Zhu, Chen, Tan, Xie
      First page: 2550
      Abstract: To investigate the effects of compound attractants on the growth performance, feed utilization, intestinal morphology, protein synthesis, and immune response of Litopenaeus vannamei, the following seven diets were formulated: a positive control (P), a negative control (N), and five diets with compound attractants which were labeled as A, B, C, D, and E, each with four of five tested attractants (yeast extract, squid visceral powder, fish soluble, and squid paste, shrimp paste), respectively. Shrimp (0.71 ± 0.00 g) were distributed to seven groups of four replicates and fed for 7 weeks. Results showed that the final body weight, feed intake, specific growth rate, and weight gain of shrimp in the B and D groups were the greatest. Hemolymph total antioxidant capacity of shrimp in the B, D, and E groups reached the highest level. In the hepatopancreas, the activity of total nitric oxide synthase, malondialdehyde content, the expression levels of sod, myd88, eif4e2, and raptor in shrimp fed the B diet were the highest, and the highest levels of dorsal and relish were observed in the C group. In the intestine, intestinal muscle thickness and expression levels of toll and eif2α in the C group were the highest, while the highest expression level of sod and relish occurred in the B group. In summary, the B and E diets promoted the feed intake, growth performance and the antioxidant enzyme activity of L. vannamei. The C diet enhanced the protein synthesis of shrimp. Regression analysis indicated that the WG and FI of shrimp were increased as the dietary inclusion levels of squid paste and shrimp paste increased, while they were decreased as the dietary inclusion levels of yeast extract and fish soluble increased.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-23
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192550
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2551: Unwanted Scratching Behavior in Cats:
           Influence of Management Strategies and Cat and Owner Characteristics

    • Authors: Alissa Cisneros, Dorothy Litwin, Lee Niel, Anastasia C. Stellato
      First page: 2551
      Abstract: Despite scratching behavior in owned domestic cats being a self-motivated and natural behavior, it is commonly reported as a behavior problem by owners when it results in damage to household items. The objectives of this study were to use a cross-sectional survey targeting cat owners within the United States and Canada, to explore perspectives on cat scratching behavior and management strategies, as well as identify factors that influence the performance of inappropriate scratching behavior in the household. A total of 2465 cat owners participated in the survey and three mixed logistic regression models were generated to explore associations between (1) cat demographic factors, (2) provisions of enrichment, and (3) owner demographic and management factors with owner reports of problematic scratching. In this convenience sample, inappropriate scratching was reported by 58% of cat owners. Owner perspectives and management strategies aligned with current recommendations as they preferred to use appropriate surfaces (e.g., cat trees) and training to manage scratching as opposed to surrendering, euthanizing, or declawing. Logistic regression results found fewer reports of unwanted scratching behavior if owners provide enrichment (flat scratching surfaces (p = 0.037), sisal rope (p < 0.0001), and outdoor access (p = 0.01)), reward the use of appropriate scratching objects (p = 0.007), apply attractant to preferred items (p < 0.0001), restrict access to unwanted items (p < 0.0001), provide additional scratching posts (p < 0.0001), and if their cat is 7 years of age or older (p < 0.00001). Whereas if owners use verbal (p < 0.0001) or physical correction (p = 0.007) there were higher reports of unwanted scratching. Results suggest that damage to household items from scratching behavior is related to management strategies owners employ, and these findings can be used to support owner education in mitigation and prevention of inappropriate scratching.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192551
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2552: Increasing Doses of Bacterial Phytase
           (Citrobacter braakii) Improves Performance and Carcass Characteristics of
           Pigs in Growing and Finishing Phases

    • Authors: Caio Abércio da Silva, Marco Aurélio Callegari, Cleandro Pazinato Dias, Kelly Lais de Souza, Rafael Humberto de Carvalho, Leandro Alebrante, Claudia Cassimira da Silva Martins, Augusto Heck, Vitor Barbosa Fascina
      First page: 2552
      Abstract: The effects of increasing doses of bacterial phytase (Citrobacter braakii) on performance and carcass characteristics of growing-finishing pigs was evaluated. A total of 120 barrows weighing 25.16 ± 2.80 kg and 68 days old were submitted to five treatments: positive control diet (PC) containing inorganic phosphorus (P) and limestone (Ca); negative control (NC) with reductions in P (by 0.13%) and Ca (by 0.11%); and three NC diets supplemented with 1500 (NC15), 3000 (NC30) and 4500 (NC45) units of phytase (FYT)/kg. The daily weight gain (DWG) in growth phase I (68–91 days) was higher in the PC, NC15 and NC30, compared to the NC (1.06, 1.06, 1.06 vs. 0.95, respectively). The DWG in finishing phase II (141–156 days) was higher in the NC15 (1.20 kg) and NC30 (1.14 kg) than in the NC45 (0.94 kg). The final weights (LW156) in the NC15 (122.95 kg LW) were higher than NC (116.47 kg LW) and NC45 (114.43 kg LW). Over the entire period, a quadratic effect (2012 FYT) was observed for the DWG. The increasing levels of phytase in corn and soybean meal-based diets improved the DWG and carcass traits; however, the addition of more than 3000 FYT/kg of feed should be carefully studied to determine enzyme viability.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192552
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2553: Cryopreservation of Roughscale Sole
           (Clidoderma asperrimum) Sperm: Effects of Cryoprotectant, Diluent,
           Dilution Ratio, and Thawing Temperature

    • Authors: Irfan Zidni, Hyo-Bin Lee, Ji-Hye Yoon, Jung-Yeol Park, Hyun-Seok Jang, Youn-Su Cho, Young-Seok Seo, Han-Kyu Lim
      First page: 2553
      Abstract: The roughscale sole, Clidoderma asperrimum is categorized as an endangered species. Sperm freezing is essential for preserving gametes. This study examined the CPA concentration, diluent, dilution ratio, and thawing temperature to design a sperm cryopreservation protocol for roughscale sole. The variables examined included sperm motility and kinematics, cell survival, fertilization, and DNA fragmentation. Sperm motility parameters were assessed via computer-assisted sperm analysis using a CEROS II instrument. Cell survival rate and DNA damage were assessed using the Cell Counting Kit-8 and single-cell gel electrophoresis assay, respectively. Sperm preservation was tested using several CPAs, including ethylene glycol, dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), glycerol, propylene glycol, and methanol. The diluents tested were 300 mM sucrose, 300 mM glucose, Stein’s solution, Ringer’s solution, and Hank’s solution. The optimal conditions for sperm cryopreservation were 10% DMSO + Stein’s solution. After thawing, sperm motility was highest with a 1:1 dilution ratio (sperm to CPA + diluent), at 69.20 ± 0.32%; thawing at 10 °C was optimal for post-thaw motility (72.03 ± 0.95%). The highest fertilization rate (40.00 ± 1.22%) was obtained using DMSO. The fresh sperm had the lowest tail DNA, followed by 10% DMSO + Stein’s solution. The developed cryopreservation methods can be used in roughscale sole hatcheries.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192553
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2554: Environmental and Social Influences on the
           Behaviour of Free-Living Mandarin Ducks in Richmond Park

    • Authors: Camille Munday, Paul Rose
      First page: 2554
      Abstract: Many species of birds are housed in zoos globally and are some of the most popular of animals kept under human care. Careful observations of how species live and behave in their natural habitats can provide us with important knowledge about their needs, adaptations, and internal states, allowing identification of those behaviours that are most important to the individual’s physical health and wellbeing. For this study, Mandarin Ducks (Aix galericulata) were chosen as a study species because, like many species of waterfowl, they are widely kept in both private institutions and zoos, yet little research has been conducted on their core needs in captivity. A free-living population of naturalised Mandarin Ducks living in Richmond Park was used for this research. Data on state behaviours (resting, swimming, foraging, perching, preening, and vigilance) were collected five days a week (08:00–18:00) from the 26 March to 26 May 2021. Secondly, temporal, seasonal, environmental, and animal-centric factors (e.g., Sex) were recorded to assess any impact on the Mandarin’s time-activity budget. Lastly, a comparison between free-living anmd captive activity was conducted (via the literature) to evaluate whether captive behaviours differ to how they are expressed in the wild. Results showed that free-living Mandarins predominantly rested (19.88% ± 28.97), swam (19.57% ± 19.43) and foraged (19.47% ± 25.82), with variations in activity related to factors such as vegetation cover and pond size. Results also showed differences between the time-budgets of free-living and captive Mandarins, suggesting that captive birds may not always have the opportunity to express species-typical behaviours. This research indicated that study of natural behaviours performed in the wild may help to evaluate “normal” behaviour patterns of zoo-housed individuals and provide evidence for environmental and husbandry alterations that can promote good welfare. However, any potential impact on the activity patterns of free-living species due to human interactions should be considered when assessing deviations between the behaviour of wild and captive individuals.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192554
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2555: Unraveling the Drifting Larval Fish
           Community in a Large Spawning Ground in the Middle Pearl River Using DNA
           Barcoding

    • Authors: Weitao Chen, Ce Li, Xinhui Li, Jie Li, Yuefei Li
      First page: 2555
      Abstract: Resolving the species composition of a larval pool in a spawning ground can provide novel insights into regional fish stocks and can support the development of effective monitoring and conservation policies. However, it is challenging to identify fish larvae to species due to their high diversity and dramatic phenotypic changes over development. In this study, we collected fish larvae in the Dongta spawning ground (Guiping City, Guangxi Province, China) in the middle reaches of the Pearl River between May and August 2018. We used a DNA barcoding approach to determine the species composition of the larval pool. A total of 905 larvae were chosen for molecular identification, of which 750 yielded high-quality barcoding sequences. Of these, 597 (≈79.6%), 151 (≈20.1%)/and 2 (≈0.3%) were assigned to 28 species, 8 genera, and 1 subfamily using the Barcode of Life Data System and GenBank nucleotide databases, respectively. Among the 28 identified species, 21 were cyprinids. Two species (Mugilogobius myxodermus and Pseudolaubuca engraulis) that were present only infrequently in previous adult surveys were abundant in the larval pool. Six invasive species were identified in the larval pool, implying that these species had successfully colonized the studied river section. Several migratory species common in the lower Pearl River were rare or absent in the investigated region, suggesting that dam construction in the Pearl River has had adverse effects on these migratory species. In summary, our study confirmed the applicability of DNA barcoding to studies of fish larval ecology and provided important reference data for fishery management and conservation in the Pearl River.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192555
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2556: Prediction of Liver Triglyceride Content in
           Early Lactation Multiparous Holstein Cows Using Blood Metabolite, Mineral,
           and Protein Biomarker Concentrations

    • Authors: Ryan S. Pralle, Henry T. Holdorf, Rafael Caputo Oliveira, Claira R. Seely, Sophia J. Kendall, Heather M. White
      First page: 2556
      Abstract: Bovine fatty liver syndrome (bFLS) is difficult to diagnose because a liver tissue biopsy is required to assess liver triglyceride (TG) content. We hypothesized that a blood biomarker panel could be a convenient alternative method of liver TG content assessment and bFLS diagnosis. Our objectives were to predict liver TG using blood biomarker concentrations across days in milk (DIM; longitudinal, LT) or at a single timepoint (ST; 3, 7, or 14 DIM), as well as different biomarker combination based on their perceived accessibility. Data from two separate experiments (n = 65 cows) was used for model training and validation. Response variables were based on the maximum liver TG observed in 1 and 14 DIM liver biopsies: Max TG (continuous), Low TG (TG > 13.3% dry matter; DM), Median TG (TG > 17.1% DM), and High TG (TG > 22.0% DM). Model performance varied but High TG was well predicted by sparse partial least squares—discriminate analysis models using LT and ST data, achieving balanced error rates ≤ 15.4% for several model variations during cross-validation. In conclusion, blood biomarker panels using 7 DIM, 14 DIM, or LT data may be a useful diagnostic tool for bFLS in research and field settings.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192556
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2557: Reduced Meal Frequency Decreases Fat
           Deposition and Improves Feed Efficiency of Growing–Finishing Pigs

    • Authors: Shanchuan Cao, Wenjie Tang, Hui Diao, Shuwei Li, Honglin Yan, Jingbo Liu
      First page: 2557
      Abstract: An experiment was conducted to examine the effect of meal frequency on growth performance, nutrient digestibility, carcass quality, and lipid metabolism in growing–finishing pigs. Sixty-four Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire barrows and gilts (26.40 ± 2.10 kg initial body weight) were used in a 112-d experiment in a randomized complete blocked design. The two treatments were the free-access feed group (FA) and the three meals per day group (M3), respectively. The result showed that the average daily feed intake (ADFI) and F: G of the FA group were significantly higher than that in the M3 group during the whole experiment (p < 0.05). Reducing meal frequency also decreased the concentration of triglycerides and urea nitrogen but increased the concentration of insulin and free fatty acids in the blood (p < 0.05). Reducing meal frequency decreased compositions of backfat, belly, and fatty pieces but increased compositions of ham, longissimus muscle, and lean pieces in the carcass (p < 0.05). Greater enzyme activities of ME and FAS and higher mRNA expression of FAS and PPARγ were found in the LM of FA pigs compared with M3 pigs (p < 0.05). In summary, a lower meal frequency improves feed efficiency by regulating lipid metabolism and reducing fat deposition.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192557
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2558: The 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing of Gut
           Microbiota in Chickens Infected with Different Virulent Newcastle Disease
           Virus Strains

    • Authors: Lina Tong, Wen Wang, Shanhui Ren, Jianling Wang, Jie Wang, Yang Qu, Fathalrhman Eisa Addoma Adam, Zengkui Li, Xiaolong Gao
      First page: 2558
      Abstract: Newcastle disease virus (NDV) which is pathogenic to chickens is characterized by dyspnea, diarrhea, nervous disorder and hemorrhages. However, the influence of different virulent NDV strain infection on the host gut microbiota composition is still poorly understood. In this study, twenty 21-day-old specific pathogen free (SFP) chickens were inoculated with either the velogenic Herts33 NDV strain, lentogenic La Sota NDV strain or sterile phosphate buffer solution (PBS). Subsequently, the fecal samples of each group were collected for 16S rRNA sequencing. The results showed that the gut microbiota were mainly dominated by Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria in both healthy and NDV infected chickens. NDV infection altered the structure and composition of gut microbiota. As compared to the PBS group, phylum Firmicutes were remarkably reduced, whereas Proteobacteria was significantly increased in the velogenic NDV infected group; the gut community structure had no significant differences between the lentogenic NDV infected group and the PBS group at phylum level. At genus level, Escherichia-Shigella was significantly increased in both the velogenic and lentogenic NDV infected groups, but the lactobacillus was only remarkably decreased in the velogenic NDV infected group. Collectively, different virulent strain NDV infection resulted in a different alteration of the gut microbiota in chickens, including a loss of probiotic bacteria and an expansion of some pathogenic bacteria. These results indicated that NDV strains with different virulence have different impacts on chicken gut microbiota and may provide new insights into the intestinal pathogenesis of NDV.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-24
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192558
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2559: Feeding Corn Oil in a Nanoemulsified Form
           Alters the Unsaturated Fatty Acids in the Milk of Zaraibi Dairy Goats

    • Authors: Mahmoud Atef Yousef, Mohammed Hamdy Farouk, Hossam H. Azzaz, Mostafa S. A. Khattab, Ahmed M. Abd El Tawab, Mohamed El-Sherbiny
      First page: 2559
      Abstract: Oil in water nanoemulsion represents a new and unstudied form of oil supplementation to the ruminant diet; that is why the aim was to evaluate the potential of nanoemulsified corn oil in dairy goats’ diets on milk productivity and fatty acid proportion. Twenty-four lactating Zaraibi goats in early lactation were randomly allocated to the following treatments: control—a basal diet without any supplementation, CO—the control diet + corn oil supplied at 3% on a dry matter basis (DM), NCO—the control diet + nanoemulsified corn oil provided at 3% on a DM basis. A completely randomized design that lasted 30 days (25 days of adaptation + 5 days of sampling) was used with eight goats in each treatment. The control diet consisted of 50% concentrate and 50% Egyptian berseem clover. The NCO increased the milk production, fat percentage, and yield compared to the CO and the control. The proportions of oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids were higher in the NCO compared to the control and CO. The NCO had less effect on the biohydrogenation intermediates’ profile than the CO; noticeably, higher proportions of unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) were associated with the NCO. In conclusion, the NCO increased milk production and decreased the transformation rate of UFA to saturated fatty acids in the biohydrogenation environment.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192559
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2560: Thoracic and Abdominal Mesothelioma in an
           Older Horse in Lazio Region

    • Authors: Giuseppe Passantino, Emilio Sassi, Ilaria Filippi, Valerio Serata, Antonella Tinelli, Nicola Zizzo
      First page: 2560
      Abstract: A Quarter Horse, a gelding aged 22, was subjected to a clinical examination for colic syndrome. During admission to the clinic, blood counts and ultrasound examination were performed. Ultrasound revealed abdominal masses and abundant accumulation of pleural (50 L) and abdominal fluid (100 L). Cytology was performed on the aspirated fluid. The patient was euthanized. The autopsy examination revealed abundant effusion and nodular masses on the peritoneum, omentum, lungs, heart, and mediastinum. A diagnosis of epithelioid mesothelioma was made via histopathology and confirmed with immunohistochemistry; it showed positive antibodies against cytokeratin (CK) and vimentin. Mesothelioma is a rare cancer in older horses. It is important to employ the correct differential diagnostics using the available methods, providing valid ante-mortem support to the clinical veterinarian and monitoring the territory using this species as a valid biological indicator.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192560
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2561: Effects of Dietary Essential Oils
           Supplementation on Egg Quality, Biochemical Parameters, and Gut Microbiota
           of Late-Laying Hens

    • Authors: Gengsheng Xiao, Liwei Zheng, Xia Yan, Li Gong, Yang Yang, Qien Qi, Xiangbin Zhang, Huihua Zhang
      First page: 2561
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to explore the effects of adding essential oils (EO) to diets on egg quality, biochemical parameters and intestinal flora of late laying hens. The number of 252 Dawu Golden Phoenix laying hens (55 weeks old) were randomly sorted into two groups: the control group (CG) fed a basal diet and the EO group fed a basal diet with 300 mg/kg of essential oils. The average egg weight, feed-to-egg ratio, and egg production rate were determined every week. The trial started at week 55 and lasted for 8 weeks. During the experiment’s last week, 36 eggs out of each group were chosen at random to test. In our study, dietary supplementation with EO considerably decreased the egg breaking rate (p = 0.01) and increased the shell-breaking strength (p = 0.04). The treatment group’s alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were considerably lower than those of the control group (p = 0.03). The EO group had substantially higher total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) and total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) (p = 0.04 and p =0.03, respectively). However, there were no differences in alpha diversity indicators between the two groups. It is worth noting that Firmicutes were increased considerably (p < 0.05), while Spirochaetota and Proteobacteria were significantly reduced in the EO group. At genus levels, the EO supplementation increased the relative abundance of Intestinimonas (p < 0.05) and Megamonas (p < 0.01). In conclusion, a dietary supplementation of 300 mg/kg EO can improve the production performance of laying hens and the egg quality. It can also regulate the abundance of cecal flora and serum biochemical indicators.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-25
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192561
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2562: Interviews with Indian Animal Shelter Staff:
           Similarities and Differences in Challenges and Resiliency Factors Compared
           to Western Counterparts

    • Authors: Deyvika Srinivasa, Rubina Mondal, Kai Alain Von Rentzell, Alexandra Protopopova
      First page: 2562
      Abstract: Animal shelters in India are at the forefront of efforts to improve free-ranging dog welfare and tackle animal overpopulation. In terms of cultural and political context, access to resources, and public health challenges, they operate in a very different environment than Western counterparts. Despite these distinctions, current sheltering literature is largely centered around countries such as the United States. The goal of this exploratory study was to examine the experiences of Indian animal shelter staff. Researchers conducted ten semi-structured interviews, in a mix of Hindi and English, with managers, veterinary nurses, and animal caretakers from three shelters. Using thematic analysis, shelter challenges as well as resiliency factors that enable staff to cope with these challenges were identified. Key challenges were inadequate funding, community conflict, and high intake numbers. Resiliency factors included flexibility, duty of care, co-worker relationships, and understanding animal needs. The results of this qualitative study revealed that the experiences of shelter staff are shaped by social, political, and cultural factors and that there is a need for further, context specific research on Indian sheltering rather than only relying on Western perspectives.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192562
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2563: The Effect of Supplemental Concentrate
           Feeding on the Morphological and Functional Development of the Pancreas in
           Early Weaned Yak Calves

    • Authors: Yang Jiao, Shujie Liu, Yanan Zhou, Deyu Yang, Jilan Li, Zhanhong Cui
      First page: 2563
      Abstract: This experiment was conducted to investigate the effect of supplemental concentrate feeding on the pancreatic development of yak calves. Twenty one-month-old yak calves with healthy body condition and similar body weight were selected as experimental animals and randomly divided into two groups, five replicates in each group. The control group yak calves were fed milk replacer and alfalfa hay, the experimental group yak calves were fed milk replacer, alfalfa hay and concentrate. The pre-feeding period of this experiment was thirty days, the trial period was one hundred days. At the end of feeding trail, five yak calves from each group were selected and slaughtered and the pancreas tissues of yak calves were collected and determined. The results showed that: (1) Dry matter and body weight of yak calves in the test group were significantly higher than those of the control group. (2) The apparent nutrient digestibility of crude protein, crude fat, calcium and phosphorus in the test group of yak calves was significantly higher than that of the control group, while the apparent nutrient digestibility of neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber in the test group was significantly lower than that of the control group. (3) Pancreatic weight, organ index, total ratio of exocrine part area and total ratio of endocrine area of yak calves in the test group were significantly higher than those in the control group, while the ratio of exocrine area was significantly lower in the test group than that of the control group. (4) The activities of the main pancreatic digestive enzymes: pancreatic amylase, pancreatic lipase, pancreatic protease and chymotrypsin were significantly higher in the test group than those of the control group, as were the hormonal contents of glucagon, insulin and pancreatic polypeptide. (5) The main differential metabolites of the pancreas in the test group were significantly higher than those of the control group, such as D-proline, hypoxanthine, acetylcysteine, gamma-glutamylcysteine, thiazolidine-4-carboxylic acid, piperidinic acid, ellagic acid, nicotinamide, tropolone, D-serine, ribulose-5-phosphate, (+/-)5(6)-epoxyeicosatrienoic acid(EET), 2-hydroxycinnamic acid, L-phenylalanine, creatinine, tetrahydrocorticosterone, pyridoxamine, xanthine, 5-oxoproline, asparagine, DL-tryptophan, in-dole-3-acrylic acid, thymine, trehalose, docosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid, fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids(FAHFA) (18:1/20:3), fatty acid esters of hydroxy fatty acids(FAHFA) (18:2/20:4), adrenic acid and xanthosine. In conclusion, supplemental concentrate feeding promoted the good development of morphological and functional properties of the pancreas in early weaned yak calves to improve the digestion and absorption of feed nutrients, so as to enhance the growth and development quality of early weaned yak calves.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192563
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2564: Animals in Animal-Assisted Services: Are
           They Volunteers or Professionals'

    • Authors: Brigitte Wijnen, Pim Martens
      First page: 2564
      Abstract: With the increasingly common practice of Animal-Assisted Services (AAS), whether in therapy, coaching, education, or volunteering programs, the concern over animal welfare has also risen. However, no standards have yet been established for good practices to ensure the animal’s mental health. This is largely due to the wide variety of roles played by animals in interventions and the lack of ‘job descriptions’ for the animal in diverse settings. Some professionals call their animal a ‘volunteer’, others mention that some directive guidance is given to the therapy animal, and some assistance animals are highly trained. Misunderstandings could be avoided if the integrated animal were to receive a justifiable label: volunteer or professional. Choosing either one comes with obligations for the owner, handler, or therapist. In this paper, we compare the roles of human volunteers and professionals to the roles of animals involved in therapy. We also demonstrate the obligations that come along with the decision to label animals as such either volunteers or professionals. Furthermore, we make a plea for animal-friendly interventions, whether in a volunteer position or as a professional, in order to stimulate the animal’s cooperation and motivation. Studying dopamine and translating the findings into context-ethograms can provide a way to judge behavior more objectively.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192564
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2565: Effects of Sex on the Muscle Development and
           Meat Composition in Wuliangshan Black-Bone Chickens

    • Authors: Zhengmiao Ou, Yanyan Shi, Qingqing Li, Yun Wu, Fenfen Chen
      First page: 2565
      Abstract: This study was conducted to illustrate the morphological features of the breast and thigh muscles at four developmental stages (1, 42, 84, and 126 days of age) of Wuliangshan Black-bone chickens and to compare the chemical composition, fatty acid, and amino acid contents of their meat at 126 days of age (D126). In total, 80 chickens (male, n = 40 and female, n = 40) in the sixth generation from the breeding farm were used in the experiment under free-range rearing conditions. The cross-sectional areas (CSA) of muscle fibers and meat composition were compared between different sex and different muscle types. The results showed that gender did not affect the CSA of the breast muscle fibers but did affect the CSA of the thigh muscle fibers at D42, D84, and D126 (p < 0.05). Muscle types affected the CSA of muscle fibers: male chickens exhibited significantly higher values than female chickens at D42, D84, and D126 (p < 0.05). The results of moisture, crude protein, and crude fat at D126 showed that moisture contents were higher in the thigh muscles than in the breast muscles in male and female chickens (p < 0.05). Gender affected the crude protein contents and crude fat contents: the breast muscle crude protein content was significantly higher than that in the thigh muscle, both in males and females (p < 0.05), whereas the crude fat contents were significantly higher in females than in males (p < 0.05); moreover, the thigh muscle fat contents were significantly higher than those of the breast muscles both in males and females (p < 0.05). Gender and muscle types also affected the fatty acid contents: the PUFA contents of the breast and thigh muscles were significantly higher in male than in female chickens (p < 0.05). Muscle types significantly influenced the total EAA, NEAA, and flavor amino acid contents. The total EAA contents of the breast muscles were significantly higher than those of the thigh muscles in males and females (p < 0.05), whereas the total NEAA and total flavor amino acid contents of the thigh muscles were significantly higher than those of the breast muscles (p < 0.05). Our results may lead to a better understanding of the effects of gender on the breast and thigh muscle development and meat composition of Wuliangshan Black-bone chicken.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192565
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2566: Effects of Oil Supplements on Growth
           Performance, Eating Behavior, Ruminal Fermentation, and Ruminal Morphology
           in Lambs during Transition from a Low- to a High-Grain Diet

    • Authors: Leili Bahramkhani-Zaringoli, Hamidreza Mirzaei-Alamouti, Jörg R. Aschenbach, Mina Vazirigohar, Amlan Kumar Patra, Iraj Jafari-Anarkooli, Mahdi Ganjkhanlou, Daryoush Alipour, Morteza Mansouryar
      First page: 2566
      Abstract: The objectives of this study were to investigate the effect of a maximum recommended oil supplementation on growth performance, eating behavior, ruminal fermentation, and ruminal morphological characteristics in growing lambs during transition from a low- to a high-grain diet. A total of 21 Afshari male lambs with an initial body weight (BW) of 41.4 ± 9.1 kg (mean ± SD) and at 5–6 months of age were randomly assigned to one of three dietary treatments (n = 7 per group), including (1) a grain-based diet with no fat supplement (CON), (2) CON plus 80 g/d of prilled palm oil (PALM), and (3) CON plus 80 g/d soybean oil (SOY); oils were equivalent to 50 g/kg of dry matter based on initial dry matter intake (DMI). All lambs were adapted to the high-grain diet for 21 d. In the adaptation period, lambs were gradually transferred to a dietary forage-to-concentrate ratio of 20:80 by replacing 100 g/kg of the preceding diet every 3 d. Thereafter, lambs were fed experimental diets for another 22 days. Fat-supplemented lambs had greater DMI, body weight (BW), and average daily gain (ADG), with a lower feed to gain ratio (p < 0.05), compared to CON lambs. The highest differences of DMI between fat-supplemented and CON-lambs were observed in week 3 of the adaptation period (p = 0.010). PALM- or SOY-supplementation lowered DM and NDF digestibility compared with CON (p < 0.05), and SOY caused the lowest organic matter (OM) digestibility compared with CON and PALM lambs (62.0 vs. 67.6 and 66.9; p < 0.05). Ruminal pH was higher for PALM and SOY compared with CON (p = 0.018). Lambs in SOY tended to have the highest ammonia-N concentrations (p = 0.075), together with a trend for higher concentrations of propionic acid, at the expense of acetic acid in ruminal fluid, on the last day of the adaptation period (diet × time, p = 0.079). Fat-supplemented lambs had lower isovaleric and valeric acid concentrations compared with CON on d 40 (diet × time, p < 0.05). PALM and SOY-fed lambs had a longer eating time (min/d and min/kg of DMI), chewing activity (min/d), meal frequency (n), and duration of eating the first and second meals after morning feeding (p < 0.05), and the largest meal size (p < 0.001). Fat supplemented lambs had greater ruminal papillary length (p < 0.05) and width (p < 0.01), and thicker submucosal, epithelial, and muscle layers, compared with the CON (p < 0.01). Blood metabolites were not influenced by dietary treatments (p > 0.05). The results from this study suggest that fat supplementation to high-grain diets may improve the development of ruminal epithelia and modify ruminal fermentation via optimized eating behavior or the direct effect of oils on the ruminal environment, resulting in better growth performance in growing lambs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192566
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2567: Response of Laying Hens to Repletion and
           Depletion in Dietary Balanced Protein

    • Authors: Ingryd Palloma Teodósio da Nóbrega, Matheus de Paula Reis, Rony Riveros Lizana, Thaila Fernanda de Moura, Guilherme Ferreira da Silva Teofilo, Letícia Cardoso Bittencourt, Nilva Kazue Sakomura
      First page: 2567
      Abstract: This study was carried out to investigate the response of laying hens given a repletion or depletion in dietary balanced protein (BP) during the laying phase period. At the beginning of the rearing period (eight w-old), four-hundred pullets were equally distributed and received one of two experimental feeds: 1-Low BP (L) and 2-High BP (H). For the laying period (19 to 102 w-old), four feeding programs were designed based on the same treatments for rearing phases (LL, HH, LH, HL), where subsequent letters indicate the feed received during the rearing and laying period, respectively. The performance responses, egg quality, and body composition were periodically collected during the laying period. Two-way ANOVA repeated measures analysis was applied to evaluate the data. Nonlinear regression models with groups were used to compare treatments in the laying phase, with the treatments being the group evaluated. All performance traits were somehow influenced by the level of BP in the feed (p < 0.050). Hens subjected to the repletion treatment (LH) demonstrated a recovery in performance after 38 w-old. The opposite result was observed for hens on the depletion treatment (HL). All egg components were affected by dietary BP (p < 0.050). Laying hens demonstrated a limited capacity to overcome a reduction in dietary BP during production, but they were able to recover from a previous deficient feed once they were given an opportunity to do so.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192567
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2568: Adoption Can Be a Risky Business: Risk
           Factors Predictive of Dogs Adopted from RSPCA Queensland Being Returned

    • Authors: Eileen Thumpkin, Mandy B. A. Paterson, John M. Morton, Nancy A. Pachana
      First page: 2568
      Abstract: Not all dog adoptions are successful. This two-year retrospective study used survival (i.e., time-to-event) analyses to investigate readmissions for dogs adopted from RSPCA Queensland shelters between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020. A better understanding of temporal patterns and risk factors associated with readmission may help RSPCA Queensland shelters better target and tailor resources to improve retention by adopters. The failure function (the cumulative percentage of adoptions that were readmitted by day of the adoption period) increased rapidly during the first 14 days of the adoption period. Approximately two-thirds of all returns occurred in this period. This readmission rate may have been influenced by the RSPCA Queensland adoption-fee refund policy. The cumulative percentage of adoptions that were readmitted plateaued at just under 15%. Dog size, age, coat colour, breed, and spending time in foster before adoption were factors associated with the risk of readmission. Failure functions for a low and a high-risk adoption example demonstrated the large degree of difference in hazard of readmission between covariate patterns, with estimated percentages of adoptions being returned by 90 days for those examples being 2% and 17%, respectively. Spending time in foster care before adoption appears to be protective against readmission, presumably because it supports a successful transition to the new home environment. Behaviour support and training provided for dogs during foster care may contribute to improve their outcomes. These findings highlight the profile of the higher-risk dogs potentially providing shelters with an opportunity to examine where and how resources could be allocated to maximize outcomes for the overall cohort. Population attributable 90-day failure estimates were calculated for each of bodyweight and age at adoption, coat colour, spending time in foster care before adoption, and breed. This calculation shows the expected reduction in the cumulative percentage of dogs readmitted by day 90 if the hazards of readmission for higher risk categories were reduced to those of a lower risk category. Expected reductions for individual factors ranged from 1.8% to 3.6% with one additional estimate of 6.8%. Risk of readmission could be reduced through increased development of foster capacity and capability, targeted interventions, improved adopter-dog matching processes, and more effective targeting of support for higher risk dogs, such as older or larger dogs. Population impact analyses provide a macro view that could assist shelters in strategically assessing the return on investment for various strategies aiming to improve adoption outcomes and potentially reduce readmissions.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192568
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2569: Utilization of the Viscum Species for Diet
           and Medicinal Purposes in Ruminants: A Review

    • Authors: Onke Hawu, Khuliso Emmanuel Ravhuhali, Mutshidzi Given Musekwa, Nkosomzi Sipango, Humbelani Silas Mudau, Kwena Hilda Mokoboki, Bethwell Moyo
      First page: 2569
      Abstract: A cost-effective, alternative protein and mineral source such as the Viscum species can be key to livestock production. Viscum spp. are used as feed in many semi-arid and arid regions globally, particularly during feed shortages. The species’ feeding value, and their pharmaceutical attributes, have been recognized worldwide, albeit with variation in nutritive value from one host to another. The antinutritional factors found in Viscum spp. may benefit livestock when consumed in moderation due to their immunomodulatory, proapoptotic, and antimicrobial properties. The Vachellia species are known to be the common hosts for Viscum spp. Further, even though Viscum spp. inhibit host tree development by reducing carbon absorption and the host tree’s carbohydrates, the efforts to regulate their infestation should not result in the plant’s total eradication due to the benefits to livestock (as well as in fodder and medicine). This review will help to improve understanding of Viscum species control measures, while also increasing the productivity of ruminants.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192569
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2570: Milk Yield and Milk Fatty Acids from
           Crossbred F1 Dairy Cows Fed on Tropical Grasses and Supplemented with
           Different Levels of Concentrate

    • Authors: Laura Haydeé Vallejo Hernández, Arni Xochitemol Hernández, Epigmenio Castillo Gallegos, Manuel Gonzalez-Ronquillo, Einar Vargas-Bello-Pérez, Luis Corona
      First page: 2570
      Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine milk fatty acids from crossbred F1 dairy cows fed on tropical grasses and supplemented with different levels of concentrate. Twelve dairy cows (50% Holstein × 50% Brahman) with 60 days of lactation grazing tropical grasses were assigned to a Switchback design, with three periods of 15 days with different concentrate levels: 0, 150, 300 and 450 g /kg. Milk samples were obtained on the last five days of each experimental period. Milk yield and milk composition were not affected. Cows fed with 300 g/kg of concentrate had higher contents of C15:0 (p = 0.004), C22:0 (p = 0.031), and C24:0 (p = 0.013). C17:1 cis9 was higher (p = 0.039) with 150 g/kg and lowest with 450 g/kg. C18:1 cis9 was higher (p = 0.042) with 150 g/kg. C18:2n6trans was higher (p = 0.05) with 300 g/kg and lower (p = 0.018) with 450 g/kg. This study shows that adding up to 450 g/kg of concentrate to crossbred F1 dairy cows fed on tropical grasses does not have negative effects on milk yield and milk quality. Therefore, under these production conditions, farmers can rely on tropical grasses and reduce feeding costs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192570
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2571: The MyoD1 Promoted Muscle Differentiation
           and Generation by Activating CCND2 in Guanling Cattle

    • Authors: Di Zhou, Yan Wang, Rong Yang, Fu Wang, Zhonghai Zhao, Xin Wang, Lingling Xie, Xingzhou Tian, Guoze Wang, Bo Li, Yu Gong
      First page: 2571
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to analyze the transcriptome of MyoD1 gene knockout MDBK cells (bovine kidney cells) using high-throughput sequencing. For the first time, CRISPR/CAS9 technology was used to construct a MyoD1 knockout in MDBK cells and transcriptome sequence analysis was used to examine MyoD1-related target gene expression. Transcriptome sequencing indicated the presence of 723 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by comparing wild type and MyoD1 knockout MDBK cells and included 178 upregulated and 72 downregulated genes. The DEGs are mainly enriched in Pl-3-kinase and AKT, p53 signaling pathways. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed that PDE1B, ADAMTS1, DPT, and CCND2 were highly expressed in the leg muscle, longissimus dorsi, and shoulder of Guanling cattle, and CCND2 was inhibited after MyoD1 knockout, suggesting it may be a key downstream gene of MyoD1 and associated with muscle formation and differentiation in Guanling cattle. This provides experimental data for subsequent studies on the regulatory mechanisms of muscle differentiation in Guanling cattle.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192571
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2572: Unravelling the Diversity and Abundance of
           the Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) Faecal Resistome and the Phenotypic Antibiotic
           Susceptibility of Indicator Bacteria

    • Authors: Diana Dias, Dário Hipólito, Ana Figueiredo, Carlos Fonseca, Tânia Caetano, Sónia Mendo
      First page: 2572
      Abstract: The WHO considers that antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is among the ten greatest global public health risks of the 21st century. The expansion of human populations and anthropogenically related activities, accompanied by the fragmentation of natural habitats, has resulted in increased human–wildlife interaction. Natural ecosystems are therefore subjected to anthropogenic inputs, which affect the resistome of wild animals. Thus, urgent multisectoral action is needed to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals following the One Health approach. The present work falls within the scope of this approach and aims to characterize the AMR of the faecal microbiome of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), an opportunistic and generalist synanthropic species whose abundance has been increasing in urban and peri-urban areas. A high number of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and mobile genetic elements (MGEs) were screened and quantified using a high-throughput qPCR approach, and the antimicrobial susceptibility of cultivable E. coli and Enterococcus spp. were assessed interpreted with both ECOFFs and clinical breakpoints. The most abundant ARGs detected confer resistance to trimethoprim and tetracyclines, although the first were absent in one of the locations studied. Several ARGs considered to be threats to human health were identified in high relative abundances (blaTEM, ermB, aadA, tetM, tetW, tetL, drfA1 and drfA17), especially in the geographical area with greater anthropogenic influence. Although at a low percentage, resistant and multidrug-resistant (MDR) E. coli and Enterococcus spp. were isolated, including one MDR E. coli showing resistance to 12 antimicrobials from 6 different classes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-26
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192572
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2573: Effects of the In Ovo and Dietary
           Supplementation of L-Ascorbic Acid on the Growth Performance, Inflammatory
           Response, and Eye L-Ascorbic Acid Concentrations in Ross 708 Broiler
           Chickens

    • Authors: Ayoub Mousstaaid, Seyed Abolghasem Fatemi, Katie Elaine Collins Elliott, April Waguespack Levy, William Wadd Miller, Patrick D. Gerard, Abdulmohsen Hussen Alqhtani, Edgar David Peebles
      First page: 2573
      Abstract: Effects of the dietary and in ovo administration of L-ascorbic acid (L-AA) on the performance, plasma nitric oxide, and eye L-AA concentrations of Ross 708 broilers were investigated. At 17 days of incubation, live embryonated hatching eggs were randomly assigned to a non-injected or sham-injected (100 μL of saline) control group, or a group injected with either 12 or 25 mg of L-AA suspended in 100 μL of saline. Chicks received a commercial diet with or without 200 mg/kg of supplemental L-AA and were randomly assigned to each of 6 replicate floor pens in each in ovo injection-dietary treatment combination. Weekly live performance variables through 14 days of post hatch age (doa) and the eye weights in both sexes at 0, 7, and 14 doa were determined. At 0 and 14 doa, plasma nitric oxide levels and eye L-AA concentrations of one bird of each sex in each pen were determined. Dietary supplemental L-AA decreased feed intake and growth between 0 and 7 doa, but from 8 to 14 doa; all birds fed supplemental L-AA had a lower feed conversion ratio. At 14 doa, male chicks had higher eye L-AA concentrations and lower plasma nitric oxide levels when treated in ovo with 12 mg of L-AA. In conclusion, dietary L-AA may be used to improve feed conversion in the second week of broiler post hatch growth. However, the in ovo administration of 12 mg of L-AA can increase male eye L-AA concentrations and is effective in reducing their general inflammatory response.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192573
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2574: Heavy Metal Levels in Milk and Serum of
           Dairy Cows from Different Farms Located near an Industrial Area

    • Authors: Vincenzo Monteverde, Gaetano Camilleri, Francesca Arfuso, Melissa Pennisi, Laura Perillo, Gioacchino Patitò, Gianluca Gioia, Calogero Castronovo, Giuseppe Piccione
      First page: 2574
      Abstract: Background: Heavy metals are toxic, non-biodegradable substances able to enter the food chain of cows and then transfer to their milk. This study investigated the relationship between the heavy metal concentrations in serum and milk and the environmental pollutants exposure at two different farms in Ragusa, Italy. Methods: To evaluate the concentrations of aluminum (Al), chromium (Cr), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb), milk and serum samples were collected from 40 Friesian dairy cows from farm 1 at about 3.7 km from an industrial area (group 1) and 40 Friesian dairy cows from farm 2 at about 400 mt from a greenhouse and 6.0 km from a chemical fertilizer factory (group 2). Results: The concentrations of heavy metals measured in serum and milk showed no statistically significant differences between group 1 and group 2. No significant correlation between heavy metals in serum and milk in group 1 was observed. A positive correlation between Zn concentrations measured in milk and serum samples was observed in group 2 (r = 0.35, p = 0.03). Conclusions: The determination of heavy metals in serum and milk can be an important tool to detect the exposure to environmental pollutants and in monitoring the hygienic state of the environment in which milk is produced.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192574
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2575: Sheep in the Vineyard: Suitability of
           Different Breeds and Potential Breeding Objectives

    • Authors: Lucas Conrad, Jakob Hörl, Maverick Henke, Rainer Luick, Nicolas Schoof
      First page: 2575
      Abstract: Protecting a breed of sheep is simple when there is demand for its breed traits, but new market options are often hard to find. In general, grazing sheep are able to take over some viticultural work. Here, we address a new and promising integrated crop-livestock system that involves the integration of sheep in the vineyard during the growing season. Using sheep in a vineyard entails opportunities but also risks, such as the current lack of information, specifically in relation to breed traits. In our survey, we evaluated 26 breeds for their suitability for grazing as long as possible in Central European vineyards during the growing season. First, the breed traits required were identified. Then, 94 flock book breeders were interviewed about specific breed traits. The height of a sheep’s muzzle is particularly important for assessing the suitability of a breed, as it defines the potential impact on the foliage area during the growing season. To determine the height of the muzzle, 179 flock book animals were measured. We found that the most important breeding objective for a new breed of sheep is the inability to stand on two legs. Adult animals of the breed Shropshire, and among these especially the shorter-legged Danish type, and Southdown, show a widespread inability to stand on two legs. Ouessant sheep are able to do so, yet are suitable with some limitations. Due to their extraordinarily small size, their reach is limited, as is their grazing performance. Thus, three of the 26 breeds studied here seem suitable for use in the most widespread vine training systems of Central Europe during the growing season. Targeted breeding could further improve the suitability of sheep for viticulture. Our findings could help to protect breeds and breed traits.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192575
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2576: Marine-Sulfated Polysaccharides Extracts
           Exhibit Contrasted Time-Dependent Immunomodulatory and Antiviral
           Properties on Porcine Monocytes and Alveolar Macrophages

    • Authors: Caroline Hervet, Frédérick Bussy, Claude Le Goff, Déborah Ménard, Pi Nyvall Collén, Matthieu Le Goff, François Meurens, Nicolas Bertho
      First page: 2576
      Abstract: Porcine respiratory complex syndrome has a strong economic impact on the swine breeding sector, as well as a clear repercussion on the wellbeing of the animals, leading to overuse of antimicrobial molecules. Algal extracts used in short-term treatments are empirically recognized by farmers as having a positive effect on pigs’ health, however, their mechanisms of action are not well known and more research is needed. Herein we studied the short and median term impact of three algal extracts, in vitro, on the pro-inflammatory and antiviral responses of porcine primary blood monocytes and alveolar macrophages, as well as the susceptibility of the treated cells to infection by Porcine Respiratory and Reproductive Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) and the Aujeszky’s Disease Virus (ADV). All extracts presented a pro-inflammatory short-term effect, associated for two of them, with an inhibition of the PRRSV replication. Conversely, the three extracts presented an anti-inflammatory median term effect, with no impact on PRRSV replication. The observed immune modulation prompts us to test, in vivo, the anti-PRRSV action of algal extracts and strengthen the interest for this natural resource.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192576
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2577: Yet Another Non-Unique Human Behaviour:
           Leave-Taking in Wild Chacma Baboons (Papio ursinus)

    • Authors: Lucy Baehren, Susana Carvalho
      First page: 2577
      Abstract: Leave taking is a common, possibly universal, feature of human social behaviour that has undergone very little empirical research. Although the importance remains unknown, it has been suggested to play an important role in managing separations, mitigating the risk, and increasing social bonding beyond the interaction itself. In nonhuman species, the literature is virtually absent, but identifying leave taking beyond humans may provide unique insights into the evolutionary history of this behaviour and shed light onto its proximate and ultimate function(s). Methods to study leave taking are not well-established, and the variation in definitions, measures, and control variables presented in past studies poses additional challenges. Baboons are a valuable model for investigating human behavioural evolution: as a flexible, highly adaptable, and social primate whose radiation is, similarly to humans, associated with the emergence of the African savannah biome. Using the framework and definition proposed by Baehren, we investigated the presence of leave taking in a wild, generalist primate and tested a range of candidate behaviours on prerecorded video footage: (1) self-scratching, (2) eye gaze, and (3) orientation in the direction of parting. Using multivariate analysis, controlling for interaction duration and individual variation, our results show that orientation in the direction of parting occurs predominantly before social separation events. These results indicate evidence of leave taking in a wild nonhuman population and contrast with previous ideas that this is a uniquely human behaviour. The presence of leave taking in baboons suggests a deep evolutionary history of this behaviour, warranting further investigation into its function and presence across other nonhuman primate species.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192577
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2578: Tree Species and Morphology of Holes Caused
           by Black-Tufted Marmosets to Obtain Exudates: Some Implications for the
           Exudativory

    • Authors: Juliane Martins Lamoglia, Vanner Boere, Edgard Augusto de Toledo Picoli, Juraci Alves de Oliveira, Carlos de Melo e Silva Neto, Ita de Oliveira Silva
      First page: 2578
      Abstract: Knowledge of the pattern of exploitation of trees can help us understand the relationship between marmosets and plants, especially in declining forests, such as those in the Brazilian Cerrado. Black-tufted marmosets (Callithrix penicillata) regularly exploit exudates by gouging the bark of trees with their specialized teeth. Determining preferred tree species to exploit exudates is important for forest management aimed at maintaining an essential food source for urban marmosets. We characterized the tree species, dendrometry, and the characteristics of the holes made by marmosets to obtain exudates. Based on these data, we proposed a gouging effort index (Chiseling Suitability Index for Marmosets, ChiSI). We identified 16 species belonging to 10 families of trees with gouging marks made by marmosets. Eleven new tree species used by black-tufted marmosets for exudates were identified in urban forests in the Cerrado. Exudate exploration was predominantly of medium intensity, with round holes concentrated in the canopy. The species Tapirira guianensis and Croton urucarana were preferred. The ChiSI was characterized by a narrow range for both T. guianensis and C. urucarana. Despite the flexibility of obtaining exudates, the black-tufted marmosets concentrate their exploitation to only a few tree species. The T. guianensis and C. urucarana tree species should be considered the most important species for management plans and the preservation of black-tufted marmosets that live in urban forests in the Cerrado.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192578
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2579: Y Chromosome Haplotypes Enlighten Origin,
           Influence, and Breeding History of North African Barb Horses

    • Authors: Lara Radovic, Viktoria Remer, Carina Krcal, Doris Rigler, Gottfried Brem, Ahmed Rayane, Khadija Driss, Malak Benamar, Mohamed Machmoum, Mohammed Piro, Diana Krischke, Ines von Butler-Wemken, Barbara Wallner
      First page: 2579
      Abstract: In horses, demographic patterns are complex due to historical migrations and eventful breeding histories. Particularly puzzling is the ancestry of the North African horse, a founding horse breed, shaped by numerous influences throughout history. A genetic marker particularly suitable to investigate the paternal demographic history of populations is the non-recombining male-specific region of the Y chromosome (MSY). Using a recently established horse MSY haplotype (HT) topology and KASP™ genotyping, we illustrate MSY HT spectra of 119 Barb and Arab-Barb males, collected from the Maghreb region and European subpopulations. All detected HTs belonged to the Crown haplogroup, and the broad MSY spectrum reflects the wide variety of influential stallions throughout the breed’s history. Distinct HTs and regional disparities were characterized and a remarkable number of early introduced lineages were observed. The data indicate recent refinement with Thoroughbred and Arabian patrilines, while 57% of the dataset supports historical migrations between North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. In the Barb horse, we detected the HT linked to Godolphin Arabian, one of the Thoroughbred founders. Hence, we shed new light on the question of the ancestry of one Thoroughbred patriline. We show the strength of the horse Y chromosome as a genealogical tool, enlighten recent paternal history of North African horses, and set the foundation for future studies on the breed and the formation of conservation breeding programs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192579
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2580: Development and Validation of an Energy
           

    • Authors: Longhuan Du, Li Yang, Chaowu Yang, Chenming Hu, Chunlin Yu, Mohan Qiu, Siyang Liu, Shiliang Zhu, Xianlin Ye
      First page: 2580
      Abstract: Indoor environmental control is usually applied in poultry farming to ensure optimum growth conditions for birds. However, these control methods represent a considerable share of total energy consumption, and the trend of applying new equipment in the future for precision livestock farming would further increase energy demand, resulting in an increase in greenhouse gas emissions and management costs. Therefore, to ensure optimum efficiency of both energy use and livestock productivity, a customized hourly model was developed in the present study to interpret and analyze the electronically collected data. The modules for estimating indoor gas concentrations were incorporated into the present model, as this has not been properly considered in previous studies. A validation test was performed in a manure-belt layer house using sensors and meters to measure the indoor environmental parameters and energy consumption. The predicted results, including indoor temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide and ammonia concentrations, showed good agreement with the measured data, indicating a similar overall trend with acceptable discrepancies. Moreover, the corresponding differences between the measured and simulated energy consumption for heating, tunnel ventilation and base ventilation were 13.7, 7.5, and 0.1%, respectively. The total energy demand estimated by the model showed a limited discrepancy of approximately 10.6% compared with that measured in reality. Although human factors, including inspection, cleaning, vaccination, etc., were not included in the model, the validation results still suggested that the customized model was able to accurately predict the indoor environment and overall energy consumption during poultry farming. The validated model provides a tool for poultry producers to optimize production planning and management strategies, increase the production rate of unit energy consumption and achieve precision livestock farming from an energy consumption standpoint.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192580
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2581: A Novel A > G Polymorphism in the Intron
           1 of LCORL Gene Is Significantly Associated with Hide Weight and Body Size
           in Dezhou Donkey

    • Authors: Tianqi Wang, Xiaoyuan Shi, Ziwen Liu, Wei Ren, Xinrui Wang, Bingjian Huang, Xiyan Kou, Huili Liang, Changfa Wang, Wenqiong Chai
      First page: 2581
      Abstract: Several studies have shown the association between the ligand-dependent nuclear receptor compression-like protein (LCORL) gene and body size in horses, pigs and donkeys. Based on previous studies, the LCORL gene was hypothesized to be associated with growth traits and hide weight in Dezhou donkeys. In this study, we aimed to reveal the variation of the LCORL gene in the Dezhou donkey and explore whether the gene is associated with hide weight and body size. In this study, genetic polymorphisms in the LCORL gene of the Dezhou donkey were studied using targeted sequencing technology, and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the LCORL gene were analyzed for association with hide weight and body size in Dezhou donkeys. The results showed that there was an SNP locus situated in intron 1 of the LCORL gene. Association analysis revealed that individuals with the GG genotype had significantly higher body height, body length, chest circumference and hide weight than those with the AA genotype (p < 0.05). Therefore, the g.112558859 A > G locus can be used as a potential candidate marker affecting body size and hide weight. This study provides the foundation for breeding high-quality donkeys with high hide yield.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192581
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2582: The Social Construction of Narratives and
           Arguments in Animal Welfare Discourse and Debate

    • Authors: Mukhtar Muhammad, Jessica E. Stokes, Lisa Morgans, Louise Manning
      First page: 2582
      Abstract: Stakeholders can hold conflicting values and viewpoints, on what animal welfare is and how a good life is achieved and can signal different problems, or problematize specific aspects of farm animal welfare, and propose different actions or interventions within food supply chains. The aim of the study is to explore the contribution of narrative and argumentative discourse to the social construction and framing of animal welfare and its implications. The methodological approach in this research is composed of two phases with phase 1 being the foundational structured literature search in both academic and grey literature. Phase 2 was the analysis of the secondary data from the literature review to develop a synthesized iterative paper and in doing so develop a typology of five narratives: the ‘farming as a business’ narrative, the ‘religion-based’ narrative, the ‘research, legislative and political based narrative’, the ‘higher welfare’ narrative, and the “animal rights/power-based” narrative. Our findings demonstrate the contestation within the stakeholder discourse of the articulation of why farm animals should have a good life. Performance-related perspectives are rooted in the value-laden language and narratives that shape the arguments regarding notions of good and bad welfare; the emergent positioning of positive welfare for farm animals as well as how to achieve a good life in practice. The novel contribution of this review is the application of an explanatory word-language-discourse-person-situation-environment framework in this specific context to inform future research on animal welfare discourse analysis.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192582
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2583: Isolation and Characterization of
           Mannanase-Producing Bacteria for Potential Synbiotic Application in Shrimp
           Farming

    • Authors: Witida Sathitkowitchai, Ponsit Sathapondecha, Pacharaporn Angthong, Yanee Srimarut, Yuwares Malila, Wuttichai Nakkongkam, Sage Chaiyapechara, Nitsara Karoonuthaisiri, Suttipun Keawsompong, Wanilada Rungrassamee
      First page: 2583
      Abstract: Prebiotics such as mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS) are a promising approach to improve performance and disease resistance in shrimp. To improve prebiotic utilization, we investigated the potential probiotics and their feasibility of synbiotic use in vitro. Two bacterial isolates, Man26 and Man122, were isolated from shrimp intestines and screened for mannanase, the enzyme for mannan digestion. The crude mannanase from both isolates showed optimal activities at pH 8 with optimum temperatures at 60 °C and 50 °C, respectively. The enzymes remained stable at pH 8–10 for 3 h (>70% relative activity). The thermostability range of Man26 was 20–40 °C for 20 min (>50%), while that of Man122 was 20–60 °C for 30 min (>50%). The Vmax of Man122 against locust bean gum substrate was 41.15 ± 12.33 U·mg−1, six times higher than that of Man26. The Km of Man26 and Man122 were 18.92 ± 4.36 mg·mL−1 and 34.53 ± 14.46 mg·mL−1, respectively. With the addition of crude enzymes, reducing sugars of copra meal, palm kernel cake, and soybean meal were significantly increased (p < 0.05), as well as protein release. The results suggest that Man26 and Man122 could potentially be used in animal feeds and synbiotically with copra meal to improve absorption and utilization of feedstuffs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192583
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2584: Comparison of Different Copromicroscopic
           Techniques in the Diagnosis of Intestinal and Respiratory Parasites of
           Naturally Infected Dogs and Cats

    • Authors: Mariasole Colombo, Simone Morelli, Donatella Damiani, Maria Antonella Del Negro, Piermarino Milillo, Giulia Simonato, Alessandra Barlaam, Angela Di Cesare
      First page: 2584
      Abstract: Several copromicroscopic techniques, including tools belonging to the FLOTAC group, are available for the qualitative and/or quantitative diagnosis of canine and feline parasitoses. The present study was carried out to compare the diagnostic performance of different copromicroscopic methods for detecting common intestinal and extra-intestinal parasites of dogs and cats. Fecal samples of 100 dogs and 105 cats were randomly selected from different regions of Italy. All samples were subjected to conventional flotation, McMaster, Mini-FLOTAC, and Baermann. Fifty-six dogs and twenty-five cats were found positive to at least one technique, and, among them, flotation (55% and 20.9% of the dogs and cats, respectively) and Mini-FLOTAC (52% and 20.9% of the dogs and cats, respectively) detected the highest number of positive samples. Larvae of the feline metastrongyloids Aelurostrongylus abstrusus and Troglostrongylus brevior were identified only using the Baermann test in two (1.9%) and one (0.9%) cat respectively. No larvae were found with the Baermann examination of dog feces or any of the other methods. The present results show that the Mini-FLOTAC represents a possible alternative to conventional flotation in clinical settings for the detection of intestinal and respiratory parasites e.g., Toxocara spp., Toxascaris leonina, Ancylostomatidae, Cystoisospora spp., Trichuris vulpis and Capillaria spp., although Baermann’s test remains the most recommended technique for the diagnosis of infections caused by metastrongyloid lungworms.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192584
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2585: Review on Preventive Measures to Reduce
           Post-Weaning Diarrhoea in Piglets

    • Authors: Nuria Canibe, Ole Højberg, Hanne Kongsted, Darya Vodolazska, Charlotte Lauridsen, Tina Skau Nielsen, Anna A. Schönherz
      First page: 2585
      Abstract: In many countries, medical levels of zinc (typically as zinc oxide) are added to piglet diets in the first two weeks post-weaning to prevent the development of post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD). However, high levels of zinc constitute an environmental polluting agent, and may contribute to the development and/or maintenance of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) among bacteria. Consequently, the EU banned administering medical levels of zinc in pig diets as of June 2022. However, this may result in an increased use of antibiotic therapeutics to combat PWD and thereby an increased risk of further AMR development. The search for alternative measures against PWD with a minimum use of antibiotics and in the absence of medical levels of zinc has therefore been intensified over recent years, and feed-related measures, including feed ingredients, feed additives, and feeding strategies, are being intensively investigated. Furthermore, management strategies have been developed and are undoubtedly relevant; however, these will not be addressed in this review. Here, feed measures (and vaccines) are addressed, these being probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics, proteobiotics, plants and plant extracts (in particular essential oils and tannins), macroalgae (particularly macroalgae-derived polysaccharides), dietary fibre, antimicrobial peptides, specific amino acids, dietary fatty acids, milk replacers, milk components, creep feed, vaccines, bacteriophages, and single-domain antibodies (nanobodies). The list covers measures with a rather long history and others that require significant development before their eventual use can be extended. To assess the potential of feed-related measures in combating PWD, the literature reviewed here has focused on studies reporting parameters of PWD (i.e., faeces score and/or faeces dry matter content during the first two weeks post-weaning). Although the impact on PWD (or related parameters) of the investigated measures may often be inconsistent, many studies do report positive effects. However, several studies have shown that control pigs do not suffer from diarrhoea, making it difficult to evaluate the biological and practical relevance of these improvements. From the reviewed literature, it is not possible to rank the efficacy of the various measures, and the efficacy most probably depends on a range of factors related to animal genetics and health status, additive doses used, composition of the feed, etc. We conclude that a combination of various measures is probably most recommendable in most situations. However, in this respect, it should be considered that combining strategies may lead to additive (e.g., synbiotics), synergistic (e.g., plant materials), or antagonistic (e.g., algae compounds) effects, requiring detailed knowledge on the modes of action in order to design effective strategies.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192585
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2586: Correlation and Influence of Seasonal
           Variation of Diet with Gut Microbiota Diversity and Metabolism Profile of
           Chipmunk

    • Authors: Wei Teng, Iram Maqsood, Huan Wang, Jianzhang Ma, Ke Rong
      First page: 2586
      Abstract: Tamias Sibiricus is the only member of the genus Tamias, a significant and vigorous seed distributor and vital food for their predators. No information is known about the strict diet, gut microbiota structure, and metabolism profile of chipmunks and how they diversify seasonally. The above factors, as well as flexibility toward seasonal shifts, are critical in defining its growth rates, health, survivorship, and population stability. This study explored the diet, gut microbiota composition, and chipmunk metabolism. Additionally, the influence of different seasons was also investigated by using next-generation sequencing. Results revealed that seasons strongly affected a diet: streptophyte accounted for 37% in spring, which was lower than in summer (34.3%) and autumn (31.4%). Further, Ascomycota was observed at 43.8% in spring, which reduced to 36.6% in summer and the lowest (31.3%) in autumn. Whereas, nematodes showed maximum abundance from spring (15.8%) to summer (20.6%) and autumn (24.1%). These results signify the insectivorous nature of the chipmunk in summer and autumn. While herbivorous and fungivorous nature in spring. The DNA analysis revealed that chipmunk mainly feeds on fungi, including Aspergillus and Penicillium genus. Similar to diet composition, the microbiome also exhibited highly significant dissimilarity (p < 0.001, R = 0.235) between spring/autumn and spring/summer seasons. Proteobacteria (35.45%), Firmicutes (26.7%), and Bacteroidetes (23.59%) were shown to be the better discriminators as they contributed the most to causing differences between seasons. Moreover, PICRUSt showed that the assimilation of nutrients were also varied seasonally. The abundance of carbohydrates, lipids, nucleotides, xenobiotics, energy, terpenoids, and polyketides metabolism was higher in spring than in other seasons. Our study illustrates that seasonal reconstruction in the chipmunk diet has a significant role in shaping temporal variations in gut microbial community structure and metabolism profile.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192586
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2587: Possible Effects of Early Maternal
           Separation on the Gut Microbiota of Captive Adult Giant Pandas

    • Authors: Xiaohui Zhang, Xueying Wang, James Ayala, Yuliang Liu, Junhui An, Donghui Wang, Zhigang Cai, Rong Hou, Mingyue Zhang
      First page: 2587
      Abstract: Maternal deprivation (MD) in early life induces dysbiosis in the host gut microbiota, which is a key determinant of abnormal behavior in stress model individuals. Compared with the early parenting environment of the wild, captive giant pandas face frequent and premature maternal separation. Will this lead to imbalance in intestinal flora and stress in captive giant pandas' The purpose of this research is to evaluate the possible adverse effects of the traditional parenting mode on the gut microbiota of captive giant pandas. The results showed that the frequent and premature maternal separation at early stages of the young did not change α and β diversity indices of the gut microbes, but it increased the relative abundance of s_Clostridium_tetani and s_Clostridium_sp_MSJ_8 (significantly positively correlated with the metabolism of propionic acid) and also the concentrations of fecal metabolites that are related to stress (N-acetyl-l-aspartic acid and corticosterone) in the intestinal tract of giant pandas in adulthood. Thereby, the function of protein digestion and absorption in the intestines of captive giant pandas was decreased, and the metabolism of short-chain fatty acids was disturbed. In conclusion, the parenting experience of early maternal separation could adversely affect the stress caused by the unfavorable parenting environment in the early life of captive giant pandas related to the gut microbiota of the captive giant pandas in adulthood.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-27
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192587
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2588: Effect of Adding Extra Virgin Olive Oil to
           Hair Sheep Lambs’ Diets on Productive Performance, Ruminal
           Fermentation Kinetics and Rumen Ciliate Protozoa

    • Authors: Darwin N. Arcos-Álvarez, Edgar Aguilar-Urquizo, José R. Sanginés-García, Alfonso J. Chay-Canul, Isabel Molina-Botero, Magnolia Tzec-Gamboa, Einar Vargas-Bello-Pérez, Ángel T. Piñeiro-Vázquez
      First page: 2588
      Abstract: This study determined productive performance, ruminal fermentation kinetics and rumen ciliate protozoa in hair sheep lambs fed different levels of olive oil. Twenty-four growing lambs were used, with an initial live weight of 10.5 ± 2.9 kg, and randomly assigned into four treatments (six animals per treatment) containing increasing levels of extra virgin olive oil (0, 2, 4 and 6% of dry matter). Animals were fed for 80 days, and sampling was carried out weekly. Intake of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), crude protein (CP), neutral detergent fiber (NDF), acid detergent fiber (ADF) and metabolizable energy (ME) differed between treatments (p < 0.05), with a linear and cubic tendency to decrease when oil concentrations were increased. Digestibility coefficients of OM, CP and NDF were not affected; however, the relationship between total intake and nutrient digestibility (DM, OM, NDF, ADF) increased with 2% DM olive oil. Compared with all treatments, the concentration of propionic acid increased by 16% with 4% olive oil. The intake of olive oil did not affect the protozoa population and live weight gain. Overall, the inclusion of olive oil in low concentrations (2% of DM) positively influences feed intake and nutrient digestibility in hair sheep lambs.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192588
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2589: Effects of Macleaya cordata Extract on Blood
           Biochemical Indices and Intestinal Flora in Heat-Stressed Mice

    • Authors: Mingcan Wang, Xiuqiong Huang, Yisong Liu, Jianguo Zeng
      First page: 2589
      Abstract: Heat stress (HS) leads to disturbance of homeostasis and gut microbiota. Macleaya cordata extract (MCE) has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and gut health maintenance properties. Still, the specific effects of MCE on blood biochemical indices and gut microbiota homeostasis in heat-stressed mice are not entirely understood. This study aimed to investigate the impact of MCE on blood biochemical indices and gut microbiota in heat-stressed mice. A control group (CON) (25 °C, n = 6) and HS group (42 °C, n = 6) were gavaged with normal saline 0.2 mL/g body weight/day, and HS plus MCE group (HS-MCE) (42 °C, n = 6) was gavaged with 5 mg MCE/kg/day. HS (2 h/d) on 8–14 d. The experiment lasted 14 days. The results showed that HS increased mice’ serum aspartate transaminase, alanine transferase activities, heat shock protein 70 level, and malondialdehyde concentrations, and decreased serum catalase and superoxide dismutase activities. HS also disrupted microbiota diversity and community structure in mice, increasing the Bacteroidetes and decreasing Firmicutes and Lactobacillus; however, MCE can alleviate the disturbance of biochemical indicators caused by HS and regulate the flora homeostasis. Furthermore, MCE was able to moderate HS-induced metabolic pathways changes in gut microbiota. The Spearman correlation analysis implied that changes in serum redox status potentially correlate with gut microbiota alterations in HS-treated mice.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192589
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2590: Traditional Conceptions of the Legal Person
           and Nonhuman Animals

    • Authors: Macarena Montes Franceschini
      First page: 2590
      Abstract: Since Roman law, the category of the legal person has been the most relevant legal category, allowing humans and entities to act within the law and enter into legal relations. The legal system does not consider nonhuman animals as legal persons but as property or as sentient beings regulated by the rules of property. Throughout history, there have been different concepts of the legal person, and some are still relevant today. This article examines four traditional concepts of legal personhood, arguing that nonhuman animals can be considered persons according to each concept. The article reaches three main conclusions. First, the legal person is not the same as the human. Second, the debate between the equivalence and the subset views poses a dilemma between a revolution or the reform of animals’ legal status. Third, an ecumenical defense of animal legal personhood may benefit animals as it supports animal persons according to any of the traditional concepts of legal personhood.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192590
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2591: Silage Mixtures of Alfalfa with Sweet
           Sorghum Alter Blood and Rumen Physiological Status and Rumen Microbiota of
           Karakul Lambs

    • Authors: Jiao Wang, Long Cheng, Abdul Shakoor Chaudhry, Hassan Khanaki, Imtiaz H. R. Abbasi, Yi Ma, Farzana Abbasi, Xuefeng Guo, Sujiang Zhang
      First page: 2591
      Abstract: The study investigated the effects of feeding mixtures of alfalfa (AF) and sweet sorghum (SS) at different ratios of silages in terms of the physiological status of blood and rumen, and rumen microbiota in lambs. A total of 30 four-month-old male Karakul lambs with 25.5 ± 1.4 kg mean initial body weight were randomly allocated to five groups, with six lambs in each group. Five experimental diets containing 40% of one of the five AF–SS mixed silages (containing 0%, 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% AF on a fresh weight basis, respectively) and 60% of other ingredients were formulated. Overall, the results showed that the mixed silage with more AF tended to increase serum antioxidant capacity, dry matter (DM) intake, and rumen fermentation metabolites. The AF–SS mixed silages containing AF at 60% and 80% caused a significant linear increase (p < 0.05) in the activity of total antioxidant capacity. The superoxide dismutase in the Karakul lamb responded with significant linear and quadratic increases (p < 0.01) as the ratio of AF was increased in the AF–SS mixed silages. Feeding diets with AF in silage mixtures at the ratio of 60% significantly increased (p < 0.05) the concentration of ruminal total volatile fatty acids (tVFA), acetate, and ammonia-N. However, no statistical significance (p > 0.05) was found in the alpha diversity of rumen microbes among the tested groups (p > 0.05). Principal coordinates analysis could clearly discriminate the differences between the five groups (p = 0.001). The relative abundance of Firmicutes in the rumen were significantly higher with AF at 40% in the AF–SS silage-based diet than those with AF at 0%, and 20% ratios. The abundance of Ruminococcus_albus had a significant linear increase (p < 0.05), as the ratio of AF in the AF–SS mixed silages was increased. In conclusion, the best beneficial effect on the physiological status of the blood and rumen, DM intake, and rumen microbiota in lambs came from those that consumed the diet containing the AF–SS mixed silage with 60% AF.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192591
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2592: Looking beyond the Shoal: Fish Welfare as an
           Individual Attribute

    • Authors: Lauri Torgerson-White, Walter Sánchez-Suárez
      First page: 2592
      Abstract: Welfare is an individual attribute. In general, providing captive nonhuman animals with conditions conducive to good welfare is an idea more easily applied when dealing with few individuals. However, this becomes much harder—if not impossible—under farming conditions that may imply high numbers of animals living in large group sizes. Although this is a problem inherent to intensive animal farming, it is possibly best exemplified in fish farming, for these practices often rely on extremely high numbers. In this paper we review evidence supporting the notion that fishes are individuals and fish welfare should thus also be considered at the individual level, examine the current state of welfare assessment in the aquaculture industry, evaluate these practices in light of individualized terrestrial animal welfare assessment methods, and make recommendations regarding research that could lead to a better understanding of how to provide each individual fish with good welfare in captivity.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192592
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2593: Profiling Analysis of N6-Methyladenosine
           mRNA Methylation Reveals Differential m6A Patterns during the Embryonic
           Skeletal Muscle Development of Ducks

    • Authors: Biao Chen, Shuibing Liu, Wentao Zhang, Ting Xiong, Mingfang Zhou, Xiaolong Hu, Huirong Mao, Sanfeng Liu
      First page: 2593
      Abstract: N6-Methyladenosine is a reversible epigenetic modification that influences muscle development. However, the m6A modification profile during poultry skeletal muscle development is poorly understood. Here, we utilized m6A-specific methylated RNA immunoprecipitation sequencing to identify m6A sites during two stages of breast muscle development in ducks: embryonic days 13 (E13) and E19. MeRIP-seq detected 19,024 and 18,081 m6A peaks in the E13 and E19 groups, respectively. Similarly to m6A distribution in mammalian transcripts, our results revealed GGACU as the main m6A motif in duck breast muscle; they also revealed that m6A peaks are mainly enriched near the stop codons. In addition, motif sequence analysis and gene expression analysis demonstrated that m6A modification in duck embryo skeletal muscles may be mediated by the methyltransferase-like 14. GO and KEGG analysis showed that m6A peaks containing genes at E19 were mainly enriched in muscle-differentiation- and muscle-growth-related pathways, whereas m6A peaks containing genes in E13 were mainly enriched in embryonic development and cell proliferation pathways. Combined analysis of MeRIP-seq and RNA-seq showed that the mRNA expression may be affected by m6A modification. Moreover, qRT-PCR analysis of the expression of METTL14 and its cofactors (WTAP, ZC3H13, RBM15 and VIRMA) during duck embryonic skeletal muscle development in breast and leg muscle samples revealed a significant downward trend as the developmental age progressed. Our results demonstrated that m6A mRNA methylation modifications control muscle development in ducks. This is the first study of m6A modification patterns in duck muscle tissue development, and it lays the foundation for the study of the effects of RNA modification on poultry skeletal muscle development.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192593
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2594: Distribution of Breeding Population and
           Predicting Future Habitat under Climate Change of Black-Necked Crane (Grus
           nigricollis Przevalski, 1876) in Shaluli Mountains

    • Authors: Mingming Li, Huaming Zhou, Jun Bai, Taxing Zhang, Yuxin Liu, Jianghong Ran
      First page: 2594
      Abstract: Climate change is affecting biodiversity by altering the geographical distribution range of species, and this effect is amplified in climate-sensitive areas. Studying the geographic distribution of flagship species in response to climate change is important for the long-term conservation of species and the maintenance of regional biodiversity. Therefore, we collected field survey records from 2016 to 2020 and conducted field surveys of black-necked cranes in the Shaluli Mountains (SLLMs) in May–June and August–October 2021; 103 breeding records were acquired totally, and the geographical distribution range under the current and four future climate scenarios was modeled with the MaxEnt model to predict the impact of climate change on its distribution and habitat quality. The results showed that 152 black-necked cranes were surveyed in seven counties of SLLMs in total; the estimated number of black-necked cranes in the entire SLLMs was about 200. The currently suitable habitat area is 27,122 km2, mainly distributed in gentle meadows and wetland habitats along the lake where the Annual Mean Temperature is −1 °C and the Mean Diurnal Range (16 °C) and Precipitation Seasonality (105) are comparatively large. Furthermore, the breeding range would expand to varying degrees under future climate scenarios and showed a migration trend toward the northwest and higher elevation. Besides, as time goes by, the habitat for black-necked cranes in SLLMs would become more homogeneous and more suitable. The conservation effectiveness of the existing reserve network would keep stable with climate change, although there are large conservation gaps between protected areas, and these gaps will gradually expand over time. Overall, this study provides a preliminary understanding of the population and distribution and predicts the future distribution of black-necked cranes in the SLLMs. It also demonstrates the importance of SLLMs for protecting the central population of black-necked cranes and maintaining regional biodiversity. Therefore, we recommend long-term monitoring and conservation of the black-necked crane population and wetland resources in the region.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192594
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2595: The Threshold Effect of Swine Epidemics on
           the Pig Supply in China

    • Authors: Yunfei Jia, Wenshan Sun, Guifang Su, Junguo Hua, Zejun He
      First page: 2595
      Abstract: The pig industry is the pillar industry of animal husbandry in China, and epidemics can lead to drastic changes in pig supply, affecting the healthy development of the pig industry and residents’ quality of life. This study analyzed the mechanism of the effect of swine epidemics on nonlinear shocks to pig supply, and monthly data on pig supply from January 2012 to June 2020 were applied to study the threshold effect of swine epidemics on pig stock and slaughter in China empirically, using the index of swine epidemics’ width (ISEW) as the threshold variable. The results of this study were as follows: (1) The influence of the ISEW over 7 months on pig stock in China was divided into two ranges, and the pig stock did not change significantly when the ISEW was less than 0.25. Swine epidemics had a significantly negative impact on the pig stock when the ISEW was larger than 0.25. (2) The influence of the ISEW over 8 months on pig slaughter was also divided into two ranges. When the ISEW was less than 0.33, epidemics had a positive and significant effect on pig slaughter, while epidemics had a marked negative impact on pig slaughter when the ISEW was greater than 0.33. Based on these conclusions, this study proposed relevant measures for the prevention and control of swine epidemics.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192595
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2596: Changes in the Dog’s and Cat’s
           Behaviors, as Reported by the Owners, before and during the Lockdown in
           China

    • Authors: Sara Platto, Agathe Serres, Simona Normando, Yanqing Wang, Dennis C. Turner
      First page: 2596
      Abstract: Considering the effects that the COVID-19 pandemic had and still has on human psychological health, it is expected that it might also affect household dogs’ and cats’ welfare. The current study explores the behavioral changes in dogs and cats before (BL) and during the lockdown (DL), as reported by their owners in China. Besides demographic parameters, variables related to the daily management of dogs and cats were analyzed in relation to behavioral problems, stress-related behaviors, and anxiety-related behaviors before and during the lockdown. A total of 261 questionnaires were collected. In general, behavioral problems and stress-related behaviors in dogs (p < 0.001) and cats (p < 0.001) decreased DL compared to BL, while anxiety-related behaviors in cats did not show any differences between the two periods considered. On the other hand, anxiety-related behaviors were more frequent in dogs DL (36.3%) compared to BL (35%), which were associated with reduced frequency of play activities with the owners (p = 0.016) and altered sleeping habits (p < 0.01). During the lockdown, dogs’ and cats’ daily routines and management (feeding and sleeping habits, dogs’ walks, dogs’ and cats’ play activities, litter box management, and cats’ lifestyle) experienced changes, but they were not associated with any behavioral issues. On the other hand, the behavioral issues considered for dogs and cats were more frequent BL, which were influenced by the daily management of the pets. The current study showed how critical the attention the owners can provide to the pets could be, to improve their companion animals’ welfare. Therefore, it is important to provide pet owners with behavioral management support both during particularly difficult periods such as a lockdown and during regular daily routines.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192596
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2597: Inclusion of Grape Pomace in Finishing
           Cattle Diets: Carcass Traits, Meat Quality and Fatty Acid Composition

    • Authors: Frances A. Arend, Gordon K. Murdoch, Matt E. Doumit, Gwinyai E. Chibisa
      First page: 2597
      Abstract: Because of its high content of polyphenolic compounds, dietary inclusion of grape pomace (GP) in finishing cattle diet could possibly enhance product quality and the health value of beef lipids. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of feeding a high amount of grape pomace in finishing cattle diets on carcass traits, product quality, and fatty acid (FA) composition of beef. Jersey × Holstein crosses (n = 24) were fed either a typical finishing diet (CON) or a finishing diet containing 58% grape pomace (DM basis; HGP). Following the feeding period, animals were harvested, and carcass traits measured. Longissimus lumborum (LL) and semimembranosus (SM) muscle were then collected from each carcass for sensory quality evaluation and FA profile analysis. Hot carcass weight, backfat thickness, and preliminary and final yield grades were greater (p ≤ 0.04) for CON than HGP steers. However, there was no diet effect on rib eye area (REA), kidney, pelvic, and heart (KPH) fat, and marbling. Feeding the HGP compared to CON diet reduced lipid oxidation of LL and SM steaks over time; the malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration, which did not differ on d 0 and 2 of 8-d simulated retail display, was lower on d 4, 6 and 8 for HGP than CON steers (treatment × day of simulated display interaction; p < 0.01). Brightness (L* values) and redness (b*) were greater for LL steaks from HGP than CON steers on most days of simulated display (treatment × day of simulated display interaction; p < 0.01). In addition, the LL and SM muscle content of several FA linked to positive health outcomes in humans including 18:2 n-6, 18:2 c9t11, total conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) was also greater (p ≤ 0.02) for steers fed the HGP compared to the CON diet. In summary, current findings suggest that although it could possibly limit growth performance, feeding a high amount of grape pomace to finishing cattle could enhance both the sensory quality and the health value of beef lipids, which are key in increasing consumer acceptability of beef.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192597
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2598: Whole-Genome Survey and Microsatellite
           Marker Detection of Antarctic Crocodile Icefish, Chionobathyscus dewitti

    • Authors: Jinmu Kim, Seung-Jae Lee, Euna Jo, Eunkyung Choi, Minjoo Cho, Soyun Choi, Jeong-Hoon Kim, Hyun Park
      First page: 2598
      Abstract: The crocodile icefish, Chionobathyscus dewitti, belonging to the family Channichthyidae, is an endemic species of the Southern Ocean. The study of its biological features and genetics is challenging as the fish inhabits the deep sea around Antarctic waters. The icefish, the sole cryopelagic species, shows unique physiological and genetic features, unlike other teleosts. It lacks hemoglobin and has evolved antifreeze proteins. Here, we report the genome sequencing data of crocodile icefish produced using the Illumina Novaseq 6000 platform. The estimated genome size was 0.88 Gb with a K-value of 19, and the unique sequence, heterozygosity, error, and duplication rates were 57.4%, 0.421%, 0.317%, and 0.738%, respectively. A genome assembly of 880.69 Mb, with an N50 scaffold length of 2401 bp, was conducted. We identified 2,252,265 microsatellite motifs from the genome assembly data, and dinucleotide repeats (1,920,127; 85.25%) had the highest rate. We selected 84 primer pairs from the genome survey assembly and randomly selected 30 primer pairs for validation. As a result, 15 primer pairs were validated as microsatellite markers.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192598
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2599: Poultry Meat Quality in Antibiotic Free
           Production Has Improved by Natural Extract Supplement

    • Authors: Raffaella Rossi, Francesco Vizzarri, Sabrina Ratti, Carlo Corino
      First page: 2599
      Abstract: Modern consumers are conscious of the relationship between meat quality and animal welfare. Today, slow-growing chickens are associated with a higher broiler welfare. The present work aims to evaluate the effect of dietary natural extract supplementation with polyphenols and seaweed mixtures (PPE) on breast and thigh muscles quality parameters in Hubbard JA57 slow growth chicken in antibiotic-free production. Five hundred Hubbard female chickens (250 from control and 250 from experimental group) were housed on floor pens (10 pens/treatment, 25 birds/pen) and assigned to two experimental groups: a control group (CON) receiving a commercial diet and another group receiving the same diet supplemented with 0.3% of polyphenols and seaweed mixtures (PPE). Dietary supplementation with PPE did not affect (p > 0.05) growth performances. The breast pH tended to be lower (p = 0.062) in PPE groups. The protein content of breast muscles resulted higher in PPE samples (p < 0.05) than controls. The thigh muscles from PPE group showed a lower (p < 0.05) malondialdehyde content than CON during refrigerated storage. In conclusion, the PPE supplement improves breast muscle protein content and oxidative stability of thigh muscle. This feeding practice is suggested to enhance the nutritional and technological parameters of meat Hubbard slow growth chicken in antibiotic-free production.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192599
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2600: Optimization of the Thawing Protocol for
           Iberian Boar Sperm

    • Authors: Cristina Tomás-Almenar, Eduardo de Mercado
      First page: 2600
      Abstract: Thawing protocols have been barely studied, and their modifications may lead to a substantial improvement in post-thawing sperm quality, which could be of great relevance to existing sperm banks, such as those for Iberian pig breeds with varieties in danger of extinction. For that, the study aimed to evaluate different thawing rates and to evaluate modifications in the composition of the thawing extender (basic pH to 8–8.2, incorporation of cyclodextrins loaded with cholesterol [CLC] and the incorporation of ion chelators [EDTA and EGTA]). After thawing, overall sperm motility and kinematic parameters, acrosome status and sperm membrane integrity were evaluated. The most optimal results were obtained with the thawing rate reaching 70 °C for 8 s with the inclusion of 12.5 mg of CLC/500 × 106 spermatozoa in the thawing extender, which showed an improvement compared to the control at 70 °C. In conclusion, to adapt the thawing conditions may be relevant, especially for endangered species or breeds such as some varieties of Iberian pig, since this process could also be used in samples cryopreserved in gene banks.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192600
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2601: Prophylactic Effect of Fenestration on the
           Recurrence of Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Disease in Dogs

    • Authors: Pontikaki, Pavlidou, Polizopoulou, Savvas, Kazakos
      First page: 2601
      Abstract: This systematic review aimed to assess the effect of prophylactic fenestration (PF) on the recurrence of thoracolumbar (TL) intervertebral disc (IVD) disease in dogs. Three online databases were searched (Web of Science, MEDLINE via PubMed, SCOPUS), 115 relevant studies were thoroughly examined by the authors, 29 of which met the pre-defined inclusion criteria for this systematic review. Data about the initial treatment, the performance of PF, the incidence of recurrence, and the site of recurrence were extracted. Most of the studies were deemed to have serious to moderate risk of bias. Out of 5457 dogs, 1264 underwent prophylactic fenestration. A total of 504 cases of suspected or confirmed recurrence were recorded, in which 164 (32.54% of total recurrences and 11.02% of PF cases) were in dogs treated with PF. In order to perform quantitative analysis for the recurrence odds, we conducted a meta-analysis. Five studies were included that met the inclusion criteria. Despite a large number of relevant publications, the quality of the evidence they provide is low. This prevented us from reaching a definitive conclusion on the prophylactic effect of fenestration on recurrence in dogs surgically treated for TL IVDH.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192601
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2602: Behavioural Traits in Bos taurus Cattle,
           Their Heritability, Potential Genetic Markers, and Associations with
           Production Traits

    • Authors: Frances Margaret Titterington, Rachel Knox, Steven James Morrison, Masoud Shirali
      First page: 2602
      Abstract: People who work with cattle are at severe risk of serious injury due to the size and strength of the cattle. This risk can be minimised by breeding less dangerous cattle, which have a more favourable reaction to humans. This study provides a systematic review of literature pertaining to cattle genetics relating to behaviour. The review protocol was developed using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) framework, with Population, Exposure and Outcome components identified as Bovine, Genetics and Behaviour respectively. Forty-nine studies were identified in the sifting and assigned non-exclusively to groups of heritability (22), genomic associations (13) and production traits related to behaviour (24). Behavioural traits were clustered into the following groups: “temperament, disposition and/ or docility”, “aggression”, “chute score”, “flight speed”, “milking temperament”, “non-restrained methods” and “restrained methods”. Fourteen papers reported high accuracy (Standard Error ≤ 0.05) estimates of heritability, the majority (n = 12) of these studies measured over 1000 animals. The heritability estimates were found to vary between studies. Gene associations with behavioural traits were found on all chromosomes except for chromosome 13, with associated SNPs reported on all chromosomes except 5, 13, 17, 18 and 23. Generally, it was found that correlations between behaviour and production traits were low or negligible. These studies suggest that additive improvement of behavioural traits in cattle is possible and would not negatively impact performance. However, the variation between studies demonstrates that the genetic relationships are population specific. Thus, to assess the heritability, genetic associations with production and genomic areas of interest for behavioural traits, a large-scale study of the population of interest would be required.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192602
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2603: Multimodal Cues Do Not Improve Predator
           Recognition in Green Toad Tadpoles

    • Authors: Andrea Gazzola, Bianca Guadin, Alessandro Balestrieri, Daniele Pellitteri-Rosa
      First page: 2603
      Abstract: The anti-predator behaviour of green toad (Bufotes balearicus) tadpoles was investigated by exposing them to only the visual or chemical cues, or a combination of both, of a native predator, southern hawker Aeshna cyanea. We collected green toad egg strings in the field and tadpoles did not receive any predatory stimulus before the onset of the experiment. To manipulate chemical and visual cues independently, dragonfly larvae were caged inside a transparent plastic container, while chemical cues (odour of tadpole-fed dragonfly larvae) were injected into the surrounding arena. An empty container and water were used, respectively, as controls. The behaviour of individually tested tadpoles was videorecorded for 40 min, of which 20 were before their exposure to stimuli. Five second-distance frames were compared to assess both tadpole activity and position within the arena with respect to the visual stimulus. The tadpole level of activity strongly decreased after exposure to either chemical cues alone or in combination with visual cues, while visual cues alone apparently did not elicit any defensive response. The position of tadpoles inside the arena was not affected by visual cues, suggesting that green toad tadpoles mainly rely on olfactory cues to assess the level of predation risk.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192603
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2604: Macromolecules Influence Cellular Competence
           and Expression Level of IGFs Genes in Bovine Oocytes In Vitro

    • Authors: Uğur Şen, Emre Şirin, Hasan Önder, Selçuk Özyürek, Magdalena Kolenda, Beata Sitkowska
      First page: 2604
      Abstract: In vitro maturation (IVM) of mammalian oocytes, which influences subsequent in vitro development of embryos, is affected by the macromolecule content in culture media for the success of oocyte maturation competence, in which the cytoplasmic and nuclear reprogramming events occur. The insulin-like growth factor family (IGFs) promotes the maturation of bovine oocytes and the expansion of cumulus cells and also inhibits apoptosis. This study was, therefore, designed to examine the effects of macromolecules (bovine serum albumin, BSA; fetal calf serum, FCS; and polyvinyl alcohol, PVA) on in vitro nuclear maturation, total cellular protein, glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzyme activity, and the gene expression level of IGF1, IGF2, and their receptor in bovine oocytes. Oocytes obtained from bovine ovaries were cultured in bicarbonate-buffered medium 199 supplemented with 4 mg/mL BSA, 10% FCS, 1 mg/mL PVA, and without macromolecule supplement (control) during 22 h in the air with a humidified atmosphere and 5% CO2 at 38.5 °C temperature. Supplementation of BSA and FCS increased (χ2 = 9.84; p < 0.05) the percentages of oocytes that reached metaphase II compared to the control and PVA. The amount of protein per ml of cell extracts of oocytes matured in FCS supplemented culture media was higher (p < 0.05) than the oocytes in the PVA and control. The levels of GPx enzyme activity in cell extracts isolated from oocytes in each experimental group did not change over time, but the GPx enzyme activity in oocytes matured in PVA-supplemented culture media was lower (p < 0.05) than in oocytes in the other experimental groups. Transcript for the IGF1 gene was not detected in all experimental groups, but the supplementation of BSA and FCS significantly elevated the transcript level of the IGF2 gene. In addition, the maturation of oocytes with BSA-supplemented media increased the transcript level of the IGF1R gene, whereas the transcript level of the IGF2R gene was similar among macromolecule supplementation groups. The current study concluded that BSA and FCS could improve in vitro bovine oocyte development due to supporting nuclear maturation and increasing the total cellular protein content, GPx enzyme, and transcript activity.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192604
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2605: The Manifold Bioactivity and
           Immunoreactivity of Microbial Proteins of Cow and Human Mature Milk in
           Late Lactation

    • Authors: Anna Maria Ogrodowczyk, Maja Jeż, Barbara Wróblewska
      First page: 2605
      Abstract: (1) Human milk (HM) is a source of many microorganisms, whose structure contains microbial protein (MP). In addition to the known health-promoting properties of HM, many activities, including immunoreactivity, may result from the presence of MP. Cow’s milk (CM)-derived MP may be 10 times more abundant than MP derived from HM. (2) Raw cow’s milk samples of Holstein and Jersey breeds, commercially available pasteurized milk, and milk from three human donors in the late lactation phase were subjected to chemical and microbiological analyzes. Microorganisms from the milk material were recovered, cultured, and their activities were tested. MPs were extracted and their immunoreactivity was tested with human high IgE pooled sera. The milk types were subjected to simulated digestion. Milk and microbial proteins were identified with LCMS and subjected to an in silico analysis of their activities. Their antioxidant potential was analysed with the DPPH method. (3) The MP of HM shows a stronger IgE and IgG immunoreactivity in the tests with human sera compared to the MP of CM (p = 0.001; p = 0.02, respectively). There were no significant differences between the microbes in the MP of different cattle breeds. The MS-identification and in silico tests of milk and microbial proteins confirmed the presence of MP with immunoreactivity and antioxidant potential. (4) MPs possess a broad bioactive effect, which was determined by an in silico tools. The balance between an MP’s individual properties probably determines the raw material’s safety, which undoubtedly requires further research.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192605
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2606: Effects of Feed Composition in Different
           Growth Stages on Rumen Fermentation and Microbial Diversity of Hanwoo
           Steers

    • Authors: Chae Hwa Ryu, Han Tae Bang, Seul Lee, Byeonghyeon Kim, Youl Chang Baek
      First page: 2606
      Abstract: Ruminants are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, and information on ruminant fermentation and microorganisms is essential to understand ruminant digestion, which is associated with environmental pollution. The present study investigated rumen fermentation and microbial diversity according to the three different growth stages of four Hanwoo steers: growing (12 months, G), early fattening (18 months, EF), and late fattening (25 months, LF). No significant differences were observed in rumen pH and ammonia nitrogen among growth stages. Total volatile fatty acids were significantly higher and propionate and valerate significantly lower in G than in EF and LF (p < 0.05). Ten bacterial phyla were detected, including Firmicutes (47.5–53.5%) and Bacteroidetes (28.4–31.7%), which accounted for 79.2–82.3% of the total bacteria. Prevotella accounted for the highest proportion (31.6–42.6%) of all bacteria in this study but did not differ significantly among the different growth stages. Metaprevotella abundance was significantly higher in G than in the other treatments (p < 0.05). In addition, Paraprevotella tended to be higher in LF than in the other treatments (p = 0.056). Given the differences in the genera of microorganisms with relatively low abundance, additional experiments are needed to determine the effect on fermentation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192606
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2607: Antibacterial Drug Residues in Small
           Ruminant Edible Tissues and Milk: A Literature Review of Commonly Used
           Medications in Small Ruminants

    • Authors: Emily D. Richards, Krysta L. Martin, Catherine E. Donnell, Maaike O. Clapham, Lisa A. Tell
      First page: 2607
      Abstract: This review provides a summary of extracted data from the published literature that contains drug residue depletion data for edible tissues and milk following treatment of sheep and goats. Out of 20,234 records obtained during the initial search, data from 177 records were included in this review. The data is separated by antibiotic class for ease of comparison between studies. Extracted data includes the active ingredient, dosing information, animal health status, analytical method and limits of detection, tolerance and maximum residue limit information, and time frames relative to residue absence or detection. This information is useful for understanding drug residue depletion profiles following extra-label use and for estimating withdrawal intervals, in order to protect the human food chain.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192607
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2608: Nutritional Metabolites as Biomarkers of
           Previous Feed Intake in European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus).
           Applications on Conservation

    • Authors: Pablo Jesús Marín-García, Lola Llobat, Carlos Rouco, Juan Antonio Aguayo-Adán, Torben Larsen, María Cambra-López, Enrique Blas, Juan José Pascual
      First page: 2608
      Abstract: European wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) populations have drastically reduced, and recently, rabbits have been classed as “endangered” by the IUCN. This animal plays an important ecological role in Mediterranean ecosystems and its introduction could significantly contribute to ecological restoration. Rabbits have high nutrient requirements that apparently cannot be covered in all ecosystems, and there are clues that nutrition can limit their abundance and density. On the other hand, some studies reflect the effects of food availability on the metabolomic status of other animal species, but there are no specific studies on this keystone species. The main aim of this work is to find biomarkers to assess the previous levels of ingestion of European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). To address this gap, gastric content and blood samples were collected from European rabbits (n = 99) in a Mediterranean area for the analysis of glucose, non-esterified fatty acids (NEFA), plasmatic urea nitrogen (PUN), albumin, glutamate and total protein metabolites. Depending on their previous feed intake (gastric content and the ratio between the gastric content and the weight of the animal), the animals were divided into two groups (lower and normal previous feed intake). Our work shows that the metabolomic profiles of the animals were affected. Levels of glucose (+82%; p = 0.0003), NEFA (–61%; p = 0.0040) and PUN (+139%; p < 0.001) were different in the animals with lower previous feed intake than the animals with normal previous feed intake. This work summarises that metabolic phenotype can be interesting when seeking to discover the limiting nutrients and food availability in diets that could affect the ecological fitness and conservation of European wild rabbits. It is important to mention that in this work, only the effects on six different metabolites have been analysed and more studies are necessary to complement the knowledge of possible metabolites that indicate the level of ingestion in this species and others. These (and new) biomarkers could be used as a tool to provide information about individual or population characteristics that other physiological parameters cannot detect, improving the conservation physiology field.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192608
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2609: Chitosan Oligosaccharide Supplementation
           

    • Authors: Marefa Jahan, Cara Wilson, Shawn McGrath, Nidhish Francis, Peter C. Wynn, Yuguang Du, Bruce Allworth, Bing Wang
      First page: 2609
      Abstract: Chitosan oligosaccharide (COS) is derived through deacetylation of chitin from crustacean shells. Previous studies reported the benefits of COS to gut microbiota, immunity and health of host species. In this study, 120 pregnant composite ewes were subdivided into treatment and control groups in duplicate. COS was supplemented via a loose lick to provide an estimated intake of COS @100–600 mg/d/ewe for five weeks pre-lambing until lamb marking. Body weight was recorded pre-treatment for ewes, and at lamb marking and weaning for both ewes and lambs. Serum immunity markers immunoglobulin G (IgG), immunoglobulin M (IgM), immunoglobulin A (IgA), secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA), interleukin (IL)-2, IL10 and faecal sIgA were determined for ewes and lambs at lamb marking and weaning by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). We found that COS can be incorporated in sheep feed without compromising palatability. Maternal COS supplementation did not influence the body weight of ewes or lambs. It did, however, significantly increase the concentrations of serum IL2 in ewes at marking and weaning (p < 0.001). In lambs, COS also significantly increased the IL2 concentration at making (p = 0.018) and weaning (p = 0.029) and serum IgM at marking (p < 0.001). No significant effect was observed in the concentration of any other immune marker or cytokine in either ewes or lambs. In conclusion, maternal COS supplementation significantly modulated some immunity markers in both ewes and lambs. The short duration of maternal COS supplementation and optimal seasonal conditions during the trial may explain the lack of significant body weight in ewes and lambs from the COS supplementation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-28
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192609
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2610: Farm Environmental Enrichments Improve the
           Welfare of Layer Chicks and Pullets: A Comprehensive Review

    • Authors: Dan Xu, Gang Shu, Yanting Liu, Pingwu Qin, Yilei Zheng, Yaofu Tian, Xiaoling Zhao, Xiaohui Du
      First page: 2610
      Abstract: Currently, cage housing is regarded as a global mainstream production system for laying hens. However, limited living space and confinement of birds in cages cause welfare and health problems, such as feather pecking, osteoporosis, obesity, and premature aging. Many studies have been conducted to alleviate layer welfare problems by providing farm environmental enrichments such as litter, sand, alfalfa bales, chick papers, pecking stones, pecking strings, perches, slopes, elevated platforms, aviaries and outdoor access with a trend towards complex enrichments. The provision of appropriate enrichments continuously attracts layers towards pecking, foraging, dust bathing, and locomotion, thereby giving lifelong benefits to laying hens. Hence, raising chicks and pullets under such conditions may reduce feather and skin damage, as well as accumulation of abdominal fat, and improve several biological features such as health, productivity, quality products, and docility of laying hens. Therefore, providing enrichment during the first few days of the layer’s life without any interruption is crucial. In addition, due to different farm conditions, environmental enrichment should be managed by well-trained farm staff. For example, in preventing feather pecking among the birds, litter materials for foraging are superior to dust bath materials or new items. However, a limited supply of litter creates competition and challenges among birds. Therefore, providing farm environmental enrichment for layers requires proper handling, especially in commercial layer farms. Hence, improving the welfare of chicks and pullets through optimizing on-farm environmental enrichments is essential for production systems practicing cage housing.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192610
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2611: Metabolomic Analysis of the Takifugu
           Obscurus Gill under Acute Hypoxic Stress

    • Authors: Huakun Zhang, Ziwen Hu, Run Li, Yaohui Wang, Jinxu Zhou, Hao Xu, Guan Wang, Xuemei Qiu, Xiuli Wang
      First page: 2611
      Abstract: Takifugu obscurus has relatively small gills and gill pores. Consequently, a relatively low respiratory capacity. This fish is thus easily negatively affected by the low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) that are common in high-intensity aquaculture. In order to clarify the mechanisms underlying the hypoxia response of T. obscurus, we used liquid mass spectrometry (LC–MS) to identify and quantify the metabolites present in the T. obscurus gill under the following conditions: normoxia (DO, 7.0 ± 0.2 mg/L), hypoxia (DO, 0.9 ± 0.2 mg/L), and reoxygenation (4, 12, and 24 h after return to normoxia conditions). We identified a total of 821 and 383 metabolites in the gill in positive and negative ion modes, respectively. Of the metabolites identified in positive ion mode, 136 were differentially abundant between hypoxia and all other conditions; of the metabolites identified in negative ion mode, 34 were differentially abundant between hypoxia and all other conditions. The metabolites which were differentially abundant under hypoxia primarily included glycerol phospholipids, fatty acids, hormones, and amino acids as well as related compounds. The pathways which were significantly enriched in the differentially abundant metabolites included the lipid metabolism, amino acid metabolism, purine metabolism, FoxO signaling pathway, and mTOR signaling pathway. Our results help to clarify the mechanisms underlying hypoxia tolerance and to identify hypoxia-related metabolites, as well as to highlight potential research targets for the development of hypoxic-tolerant strains in the future.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192611
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2612: Chromosomal Diversification in
           Pseudacanthicus Species (Loricariidae, Hypostominae) Revealed by
           Comparative Mapping of Repetitive Sequences

    • Authors: Kevin Santos da Silva, Augusto César Paes de Souza, Luís Reginaldo Ribeiro Rodrigues, Julio Cesar Pieczarka, Cleusa Yoshiko Nagamachi
      First page: 2612
      Abstract: Pseudacanthicus is a genus of Neotropical fish with eight valid species, in addition to numerous lineages not formally identified. It occurs along the Amazon and Tocantins River basins, in Suriname and in the Guiana shield. There are no karyotypic data in the literature for species of this genus. Here, the karyotypes of three Pseudacanthicus species (P. spinosus, P. leopardus and Pseudacanthicus sp.) were comparatively analyzed by classical cytogenetics and fluorescence in situ hybridization using 18S and 5S rDNA probes, U2 snDNA and telomeric sequences. The analyzed species presented 52 chromosomes and KF = 18 m + 34 sm. Constitutive heterochromatin occurred in blocks on a few chromosomes. The 18S rDNA occurred in a single pair; interestingly, P. leopardus presented only one locus of this sequence in its diploid genome. The 5S rDNA sequence occurred in only one pair in P. leopardus, and in multiple sites in Pseudacanthicus sp. and P. spinosus. The snDNA U2 occurred in only one pair in all analyzed species. Telomeric sequences did not show interstitial sites. Although Pseudacanthicus species share the same 2n and KF, repetitive sequence analysis revealed karyotypic diversity among these species. The occurrence of DNA double-strand breaks related to fragile sites, unequal crossing over and transpositions is proposed as the mechanism of karyotypic diversification, suggesting that the conservation of the karyotypic macrostructure is only apparent in this group of fish.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192612
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2613: Heteroscedastic Reaction Norm Models Improve
           the Assessment of Genotype by Environment Interaction for Growth,
           Reproductive, and Visual Score Traits in Nellore Cattle

    • Authors: Ivan Carvalho Filho, Delvan A. Silva, Caio S. Teixeira, Thales L. Silva, Lucio F. M. Mota, Lucia G. Albuquerque, Roberto Carvalheiro
      First page: 2613
      Abstract: The assessment of the presence of genotype by environment interaction (GxE) in beef cattle is very important in tropical countries with diverse climatic conditions and production systems. The present study aimed to assess the presence of GxE by using different reaction norm models for eleven traits related to growth, reproduction, and visual score in Nellore cattle. We studied five reaction norm models (RNM), fitting a linear model considering homoscedastic residual variance (RNM_homo), and four models considering heteroskedasticity, being linear (RNM_hete), quadratic (RNM_quad), linear spline (RNM_l-l), and quadratic spline (RNM_q-q). There was the presence of GxE for age at first calving (AFC), scrotal circumference (SC), weaning to yearling weight gain (WYG), and yearling weight (YW). The best models were RNM_l-l for YW and RNM_q-q for AFC, SC, and WYG. The heritability estimates for RNM_l-l ranged from 0.07 to 0.20, 0.42 to 0.61, 0.24 to 0.42, and 0.47 to 0.63 for AFC, SC, WYG, and YW, respectively. The heteroskedasticity in reaction norm models improves the assessment of the presence of GxE for YW, WYG, AFC, and SC. Additionally, the trajectories of reaction norms for these traits seem to be affected by a non-linear component, and selecting robust animals for these traits is an alternative to increase production and reduce environmental sensitivity.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192613
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2614: Goose Embryonic Development, Glucose and
           Thyroid Hormone Concentrations, and Eggshell Features Depend on Female Age
           and Laying Period

    • Authors: Joanna Kucharska-Gaca, Marek Adamski, Jakub Biesek
      First page: 2614
      Abstract: This study aimed to evaluate embryonic development; analyze the glucose, triiodothyronine (T3), and thyroxine (T4) concentrations in the blood of embryos and goslings; and assess the structure and temperature (EST) of the eggshell. The eggs that were analyzed were from four laying seasons of White Kołuda® geese at three periods (90 eggs × 4 groups × 3 periods). The different embryo proportions, fetal membranes in the egg, and sizes of internal organs indicate a different growth rate and degree of embryo development depending on the laying age and laying period. The goose age influenced the hormone concentrations in the embryos’ blood on the 28th day of incubation, which supports a relationship between the females’ age and development. The eggshell thickness and density change depending on the laying age and the laying period. A decrease in eggshell thickness in the eggs up to the third season was found after the 16th day of incubation (simultaneously, the density showed an increasing trend). A lower EST distinguished the eggs from the oldest geese in the first half of the hatch. The formation of the chorioallantois membrane was associated with an increase in EST in the oldest geese.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192614
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2615: Global and Brazilian Scenario of Guidelines
           and Legislation on Welfare in Pig Farming

    • Authors: Isabella Cristina de Castro Lippi, Fabiana Ribeiro Caldara, Ibiara Correia de Lima Almeida Paz, Agnês Markiy Odakura
      First page: 2615
      Abstract: The evolution of scientific knowledge regarding animal sentience, together with the growing concerns of consumers regarding current production models, has brought with it the responsibility of reviewing many practices carried out in industrial swine farming, with the purpose of improving the life quality of animals throughout the entire production cycle. In this sense, many initiatives have been taken by European Union, OIE and other countries to abolish questionable practices from an animal welfare point of view, being signed through legislation or normative instructions, which guide governments and companies on the best practices to be adopted. Among the main changes that have taken place in swine farming are the ban or reduction in the use of cages for sows, restrictions on the age at weaning, ban on painful procedures such as surgical castration, tail and teeth clipping, as routine procedures or without the use of anesthesia/analgesia. In addition, these acts also prescribe practices that must be adopted in order to respect the natural behavior of animals, such as the use of environmental enrichment. This review aims to address the main advances made over the last few years in the protection of swine, as well as Brazilian initiatives in this regard.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192615
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2616: Acetate-Induced Milk Fat Synthesis Is
           Associated with Activation of the mTOR Signaling Pathway in Bovine Mammary
           Epithelial Cells

    • Authors: Miao Lin, Maocheng Jiang, Tianyu Yang, Dejin Tan, Guanghui Hu, Guoqi Zhao, Kang Zhan
      First page: 2616
      Abstract: Acetate is a precursor substance for fatty acid synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells (BMECs), and the mTOR signaling pathway plays an important role in milk fat synthesis. However, the mechanism of the regulatory effects of acetate on lipogenic genes via the mTOR signaling pathway in BMEC remains unknown. We hypothesized that acetate can enhance the expression of lipogenic genes and triglyceride (TG) production by activating the mTOR signaling pathway in BMECs. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the network of acetate-regulated lipid metabolism by the mTOR signaling pathway in BMECs. These results showed that TG synthesis was elevated (p < 0.01) in BMECs with acetate treatment. The lipid droplets were increased in the acetate-treated groups compared with those in the control group through the Bodipy staining of the lipids. In addition, the fatty acid profile in BMECs treated with acetate was affected, with an elevation in the proportions of C14:0, C16:0, and C18:0. The mRNA levels of the sterol-response-element-binding protein 1 (SREBP1), stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (SCD1), and fatty acid synthase (FAS) genes involved in the lipogenesis and transcriptional factors were upregulated (p < 0.05) in BMECs with acetate treatment. Remarkably, the expression of acetyl-CoA carboxylase α (ACCα) and FAS rate-limiting enzymes involved in lipogenesis was upregulated in BMECs with acetate treatment. Moreover, the addition of acetate enhanced the key protein expression of S6K1, which is related to the mTOR signaling pathway. Taken together, our data suggest that TG accumulation and expression of lipogenic genes induced by acetate are associated with the activation of the mTOR signaling pathway, which provides new insights into the understanding of the molecular mechanism in the expression of mTOR-signaling-pathway-regulated lipogenic genes.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192616
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2617: Host–Parasite
           Relationship—Nematode Communities in Populations of Small Mammals

    • Authors: Milan Miljević, Borislav Čabrilo, Ivana Budinski, Marija Rajičić, Branka Bajić, Olivera Bjelić-Čabrilo, Jelena Blagojević
      First page: 2617
      Abstract: Nematode burdens and variation in morphological characteristics were assessed in eighty-eight animals from three host species (Apodemus sylvaticus, Apodemus flavicollis, and Myodes glareolus) from eight localities in Serbia. In total, 15 species of nematodes were identified, and the overall mean parasite species richness (IndPSR) was 1.61 per animal (1.98 in A. flavicollis, 1.43 in M. glareolus, and 0.83 in A. sylvaticus). Furthermore, the studied host species significantly differed in individual parasite load (IndPL) and in the following morphological characters: spleen mass, body condition index (BCI), and body mass. We aimed to analyze the relationship between the burden of intestinal nematodes, on one hand, and the body conditions of the host and its capability to develop immune defends on the other. Spleen mass was considered as a measure of immune response. In all host species, larger animals with a better condition (higher BCI) were infected with more parasites species (IndPSR), while parasite load was not related to BCI. Only in A. flavicollis were males significantly larger, but females of the same sizes were infected with more parasite species. This female-biased parasitism is contrary to the theoretical expectation that males should be more parasitized, being larger, more active, with a wider home range. Although the spleen size was significantly correlated with body condition and body mass, IndPSR was not related to spleen mass in any studied species, but in M. galareolus, we found that a smaller spleen was related to higher infection intensity (IndPL).
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192617
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2618: Intraovarian Injection of Reconstituted
           Lyophilized Growth-Promoting Factor Extracted from Horse Blood Platelets
           (L-GFequina) Increases Oocytes Recovery and In Vitro Embryo Production in
           Holstein Cows

    • Authors: Silviu-Ionuț Borş, Dan-Lucian Dascălu, Alina Borş, Hossam M. Fahmy, Omaima M. Kandil, Ahmed Sabry S. Abdoon
      First page: 2618
      Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of intraovarian injections of a reconstituted lyophilized growth-promoting factor extracted from horse blood platelets (L-GFequina) on the number of ovarian follicles, the recovery of cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs), and embryo development to the blastocyst stage in Holstein cows. Thus, 12 Holstein cows were assigned to three protocols. According to the number of punctured follicles in protocol 1, ovum pick-up (OPU) was conducted on days 6 and 14 of the cycle (day 0 = estrus). In protocol 2, every large follicle (more than 7 mm) was removed, and 1 mL of L-GFequina was intraovarian injected (day 0). Two days later, equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) was administered, and OPU sessions were conducted on days 6, 10, and 14. The same ovarian stimulation procedure as that in protocol 2 was performed in protocol 3, except that equine L-GFequina was not supplied. OPU was carried out on days 6 and 10 of the cycle. The results indicate that the intraovarian injection of L-GFequina significantly (p < 0.05) increased the number of OPU sessions per cycle, the recovery of cumulus–oocyte complexes (COCs), and the production of blastocysts. In conclusion, an intraovarian injection of L-GFequina can improves OPU-IVEP results in Holstein cows.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192618
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2619: Common Digital Extensor Tendon Injury in
           Three Sporting Dogs

    • Authors: Alessio Franini, Maria Grazia Entani
      First page: 2619
      Abstract: Injuries to canine athletes are becoming more and more frequent, and perfect knowledge of all injury-prone anatomic structures is mandatory to achieve correct diagnoses and treatments. In this small case series discussion, trauma-based injury to the common digital extensor tendon of digits III and IV of the forelimb is described for the first time. The anatomy as well as the clinical and ultrasonographic findings show similarities to the human spectrum of pathologies called boxer’s knuckle. The treatment options with a buddy taping technique led to a satisfactory outcome at three months from trauma, without a history of re-injury. Injuries to the extensor compartment of the forepaw should be considered in cases of forelimb lameness with dorsal metacarpophalangeal swelling in sporting patients, especially with a history of blunt force traumas.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192619
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2620: First Documented Uses of Caves along the
           Coast of Albania by Mediterranean Monk Seals (Monachus monachus, Hermann
           1779): Ecological and Conservation Inferences

    • Authors: Luigi Bundone, Gema Hernandez-Milian, Nexhip Hysolakoj, Rigers Bakiu, Tatjana Mehillaj, Lorela Lazaj, Hua Deng, Amy Lusher, Giulio Pojana
      First page: 2620
      Abstract: Information on the habitat use of the Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus monachus) along the coast of Albania (Adriatic and Ionian Sea) has so far been limited to vague and generalised data. A survey conducted in the National Marine Park Karaburun-Sazan in the summer of 2019 identified two marine caves with morphological characteristics best suited for use by such species. The two caves were subsequently equipped with infrared camera traps in 2020. The recovery of a scat in one of the caves during the 2019 survey and the photographic material obtained confirmed the use of the cave. This research provides the first documentation of marine cave habitat use by the Mediterranean monk seal in Albania. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of specimens frequenting the area could not be performed due to the limited data obtained on seal presence along the Albanian coasts. Nevertheless, the retrieved information is relevant for Albania and for the species conservation. The collected scat was analysed for trophic and anthropogenic contamination data. Three species (gilthead sea bream, European sea bass, and garfish), as well as four anthropogenic items (including a piece of nylon net), were identified. The inferences resulting from the analyses of the data presented in this study provided additional information on the ecology of the species and its conservation priorities, which need to be contextualized at the Adriatic–Ionian regional scale.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192620
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2621: In Vitro Gene Expression Responses of Bovine
           Rumen Epithelial Cells to Different pH Stresses

    • Authors: Hongxia Lian, Chuankai Zhang, Yifan Liu, Wenjing Li, Tong Fu, Tengyun Gao, Liyang Zhang
      First page: 2621
      Abstract: Ruminal acidosis often occurs in production, which greatly affects animal health and production efficiency. Subacute rumen acidosis (SARA) occurs when rumen pH drops rapidly to 5.5–5.8, and acute rumen acidosis (ARA) occurs when rumen pH drops below 5.0, but the molecular regulation mechanism of the rumen epithelium after the rapid decrease in pH is still unclear. Bovine rumen epithelial cells (BRECs) were cultured at pH = 7.4 (control), 5.5 (SARA), and 4.5 (ARA). Transcriptome and metabolomic methods were used to obtain the molecular-based response of BRECs to different pH treatments; pH = 4.5 can significantly induce apoptosis of BRECs. The RNA-seq experiments revealed 1381 differently expressed genes (DEGs) in the control vs. SARA groups (p < 0.05). Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) were upregulated 4.25 and 6.86 fold, respectively, and TLR4 was downregulated 0.58 fold. In addition, 283 DEGs were identified in the control vs. ARA comparison (p < 0.05), and prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PSTG2) was downregulated 0.54 fold. Our research reveals that the MAPK/TNF signaling pathway regulates the inflammatory response of BRECs. Metabolomics identified 35 biochemical compounds that were significantly affected (p < 0.05) in control vs. SARA and 51 in control vs. ARA. Bioinformatics analysis using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway database revealed that drug metabolism-cytochrome P450 metabolic and alpha-linolenic acid metabolism changes occurred. These transcriptional and metabolic changes are related to the adaptation of BRECs to low-pH stresses. In conclusion, the combined data analyses presented a worthy strategy to characterize the cellular, transcriptomic, and metabonomic adaptation of BRECs to pH in vitro. We demonstrated transcriptional expression changes in BRECs under pH stress and activation of the molecular mechanisms controlling inflammation.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192621
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
  • Animals, Vol. 12, Pages 2622: Syringohydromyelia in Dogs: The Genomic
           Component Underlying a Complex Neurological Disease

    • Authors: Sandra Andrino, Valentina Lorenzo, Susana Dunner, Elisabeth Contreras, Javier Cañón, Natalia Sevane
      First page: 2622
      Abstract: Syringohydromyelia (SHM) is a neurological disorder characterized by the appearance of fluid-containing cavities within the spinal cord. Although SHM is thought to be under multigenic control, the molecular basis of this disease remains poorly defined. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was carried out comparing the whole genome sequences (WGS) from 12 dogs with SHM and 2 panels of 26 dogs (either older than 5 years and showing the absence of SHM or belonging to breeds not susceptible to SHM) to identify candidate genes associated with the development of SHM. Seven candidate genes were identified. Of these, five genes were determined to be involved in bone development (PLXNA2, HHAT, MBOAT2, ITGAV) and calcium homeostasis (HPCAL1). Although further validation is needed at the transcript level, it is worth highlighting the association of a possible pathogenic variant which generated a new intronic branch-site sequence in PLXNA2 (T/C, CFA7:7043294). Considering previous studies in dogs that show SHM related to craniocervical junction (CCJ) malformations, these genes can be considered good candidates for the development of this disease. This report dissects the genomic component of SHM in dogs, which paves the way for further research on this complex disease found both in canine and human species.
      Citation: Animals
      PubDate: 2022-09-29
      DOI: 10.3390/ani12192622
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 19 (2022)
       
 
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