Chicken Intestinal Mycobiome: Initial Characterization and Its Response to Bacitracin Methylene Disalicylate.

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Chicken Intestinal Mycobiome: Initial Characterization and Its Response to Bacitracin Methylene Disalicylate.

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2020 May 01;:

Authors: Robinson K, Xiao Y, Johnson TJ, Chen B, Yang Q, Lyu W, Wang J, Fansler N, Becker S, Liu J, Yang H, Zhang G

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract harbors a diverse population of microorganisms. While much work has been focused on the characterization of the bacterial community, very little is known about the fungal community, or mycobiota, in different animal species and chickens in particular. Here we characterized the biogeography of the mycobiota along the GI tract of day-28 broiler chicks and further examined its possible shift in response to bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD), a commonly used in-feed antibiotic, through Illumina sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) region of fungal rRNA genes. Out of 124 samples sequenced, we identified a total of 468 unique fungal features that belong to four phyla and 125 genera in the GI tract. Ascomycota and Basidiomycota represented 90-99% of the intestinal mycobiota, with three genera including Microascus, Trichosporon, and Aspergillus accounting for over 80% of total fungal population in most GI segments. Furthermore, these fungal genera were dominated by Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Trichosporon asahii and two Aspergillus species. We also revealed that the mycobiota are more diverse in the upper than lower GI tract. The cecal mycobiota transitioned from being S. brevicauli-dominant on day 14 to T. asahii-dominant on day 28. Furthermore, 2-week feeding of 55 mg/kg BMD tended to reduce the cecal mycobiota α-diversity. Taken together, we provided a comprehensive biogeographic view and succession pattern of the chicken intestinal mycobiota and its influence by BMD. A better understanding of intestinal mycobiota may lead to development of novel strategies to improve animal health and productivity.IMPORTANCE Intestinal microbiota is critical to host physiology, metabolism, and health. However, the fungal community has been often overlooked. Recent studies in humans have highlighted the importance of the mycobiota in obesity and disease, making it imperative that we increase our understanding of the fungal community. The significance of this study is that we revealed the spatial and temporal changes of the mycobiota in the GI tract of the chicken, a non-mammalian species. To our surprise, the chicken gut mycobiota is dominated by a limited number of fungal species, as opposed to hundreds of bacterial taxa. Additionally, the chicken intestinal fungal community is more diverse in the upper than the lower GI tract, while the bacterial community shows an opposite pattern. Collectively, this study lays an important foundation for future work on the chicken intestinal mycobiome and its possible manipulation to enhance animal performance and disease resistance.

PMID: 32358003 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

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