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Spatial variation of intestinal skatole production and microbial community in Jinhua and Landrace pigs

Li, Cai-Yan, Wu, Chao, Liu, Jian-Xin, Wang, Yi-Zhen, Wang, Jia-Kun
Journal of the science of food and agriculture 2009 v.89 no.4 pp. 639-644
swine, swine breeds, intestinal microorganisms, microbial physiology, skatole, biosynthesis, indoles, rectum, cecum, colon, volatile fatty acids, breed differences
BACKGROUND: An excessive accumulation of skatole in pigs is a major contributor to boar taint. Intestinal skatole concentrations may vary among different pig segments and breeds. The objective of this study was to evaluate the spatial variation of intestinal skatole production and the microbial community in local Jinhua and exotic Landrace pigs.RESULTS: For both breeds, skatole concentration increased towards the rectum and segment had a significant effect on skatole (P < 0.001). The caecal skatole concentration in Landrace was significantly lower than proximal, distal colonic and rectal skatole levels (P < 0.05). Compared with Jinhua pigs, the rectal skatole and proximal and distal colonic indole levels were significantly higher in Landrace pigs (P < 0.05). Volatile fatty acids were significantly affected by breed except for isobutyrate and isovalerate (P < 0.05), with higher butyrate level and lower pH in Landrace pigs (P < 0.05). There were no significant differences in mitosis and apoptosis for the two breeds. The denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis profile showed differences between breeds and segments within one breed, though some bands were common to all samples.CONCLUSION: The higher skatole levels in Landrace pigs may be not associated with higher intestinal apoptosis. The results suggested that pig genotype plays a role in the establishment of the host-specific microbiota and that the variations in fermentation patterns are more likely to explain differences in intestinal skatole production.