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Pre- and post-weaning diet alters the faecal metagenome in the cat with differences in vitamin and carbohydrate metabolism gene abundances

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 10:45 authored by Wayne Young, Christina MoonChristina Moon, David Thomas, Nick Cave, Emma Bermingham
Dietary format, and its role in pet nutrition, is of interest to pet food manufacturers and pet owners alike. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of pre- and post-weaning diets (kibbled or canned) on the composition and function of faecal microbiota in the domestic cat by shotgun metagenomic sequencing and gene taxonomic and functional assignment using MG-RAST. Post-weaning diet had a dramatic effect on community composition; 147 of the 195 bacterial species identified had significantly different mean relative abundances between kittens fed kibbled and canned diets. The kittens fed kibbled diets had relatively higher abundances of Lactobacillus (>100-fold), Bifidobacterium (>100-fold), and Collinsella (>9-fold) than kittens fed canned diets. There were relatively few differences in the predicted microbiome functions associated with the pre-weaning diet. Post-weaning diet affected the abundance of functional gene groups. Genes involved in vitamin biosynthesis, metabolism, and transport, were significantly enriched in the metagenomes of kittens fed the canned diet. The impact of post-weaning diet on the metagenome in terms of vitamin biosynthesis functions suggests that modulation of the microbiome function through diet may be an important avenue for improving the nutrition of companion animals.


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© The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material.


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Springer Nature

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Scientific Reports




Young, W., Moon, C. D., Thomas, D. G., Cave, N. J., & Bermingham, E. N. (2016). Pre- and post-weaning diet alters the faecal metagenome in the cat with differences in vitamin and carbohydrate metabolism gene abundances. Scientific Reports, 6, 34668. doi:10.1038/srep34668


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