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  • Author: Jeffrey G Wiegert x
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Landon K Eldridge L Eldridge, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States

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Dallas Soffa D Soffa, Texas A&M University, College Station, 77843, United States

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Kyle J Hickman-Brown K Hickman-Brown, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States

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Brooke E McAnally B McAnally, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States

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Molly S Smith M Smith, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States

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Jeffrey G Wiegert J Wiegert, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, United States

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Rebecca K Poole R Poole, Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, 77843, United States

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The pioneer microbiome is the initial colonization and establishment of microorganisms within the neonate. The objective of this project was to quantify maternal and environmental contributions to the piglet's pioneer microbiome. Sterile swabs were used to collect samples from the gilt’s rectum, the farrowing crate before and after gilts were moved in, the gilt’s birth canal during farrowing, and the piglet’s rectum on days 0 (prior to suckling), 3, and 10 post-farrowing and at weaning (21.6 ± 1.0 days post-farrowing). During farrowing, colostrum was collected from each gilt from a representative sample of teats into a single sterile collection cup. Bacterial DNA extraction and sequencing targeted the V4 hypervariable region of the 16S rRNA gene. The relative abundance of Lactobacillus in the piglet microbiome was lower on day 3 compared to day 0, 10, and at weaning (P < 0.05). For alpha diversity, piglet samples exhibited distinct clustering for bacterial richness by day (P < 0.01). Multiple regression analyses indicated that the birth canal explained 51.6% of the variation observed in the piglet day 0 microbiome (P < 0.0001) and 6.5% of the variation in the piglet day 10 microbiome (P = 0.013). The day 10 microbiome explained 58.6% of the variation observed in the piglet microbiome at weaning (P < 0.0001). Bacterial communities of the farrowing crate and colostrum did not impact the piglet microbiome for any day (P > 0.10). Results indicate that the piglet pioneer microbiome is largely influenced by the microbiome of the birth canal.

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