Natalie Diether | ALES Graduate Seminar

Date(s) - 20/04/2023
8:30 am - 9:30 am
318-J Agriculture/Forestry Centre, Agriculture/Forestry Centre, Edmonton

A graduate exam seminar is a presentation of the student’s final research project for their degree.
This is an ALES PhD Final Exam Seminar by Natalie Diether. This seminar is open to the general public to attend, either in person or via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 986 0444 1192 Passcode: 395412

Thesis Topic: A Multi-omics Approach to Understanding the Effects of Common Feeding Strategies on Diet-Microbe-Host Interaction in Weaned Pigs
PhD with Drs. Benjamin Willing and Paul Stothard.

Seminar Abstract:

Post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) is a serious challenge in global swine production systems with significant impacts on antimicrobial use and production economics. The outcomes of this multi-factorial disease are influenced by many nutritional and management factors which affect the colonization and expansion of gastrointestinal pathogens. With growing concerns surrounding microbial resistance to antibiotics and environmental impacts of dietary zinc oxide, effective alternative strategies to manage PWD are needed. To understand factors that contribute to their effectiveness, more information is needed on how these strategies impact functional characteristics of the gut microbiota as well as host response.

To elucidate the effects of three common dietary strategies on diet-microbiota-host interactions, benzoic acid (BA) and enzymes, an additive blend with medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), and protein to fibre ratios were each examined in one of three studies conducted. The impacts of these additives on gut microbiota and metabolome were assessed using a combination of 16S rRNA sequencing, metabolomic, and transcriptomic methods to identify mechanisms of action. The results of this work identified improved microbial succession, bile secretion, and amino acid metabolism as key responses to dietary additives.

The metabolite and microbiota changes described through these multi-omic techniques provide a deeper understanding of the impacts of these three strategies on gut microbiota, metabolism, and host response. Through focusing on functional characteristics indicative of recovery from post-weaning stress, these studies further provide important insight into alterations in holobiont metabolic networks that may underly the mechanism of action for these dietary strategies.

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