Modulation of broilers’ caecal microflora and metabolites in response to a potential probiotic Bacillus amyloliquefaciens

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Recently, Bacillus sp. have been used as one of the most widely potential probiotics in poultry, which functions as a substitution of antibiotic growth promoter (Murugesan, Romero, & Persia, 2014). The beneficial characteristics of Bacillus sp. include the ability to survive and germinate in the gastrointestinal tract (Barbosa, Serra, La Ragione, Woodward, & Henriques, 2005) as well as the secretion of protease, amylase and lipase (Santoso, Tanaka, Ohtani, & Sakaida, 2001). Previous studies indicated that Bacillus amyloliquefaciens (B. amyloliquefaciens) is closely related to Bacillus subtilis, which produces extracellular enzymes, including α‐amylases, cellulase, metalloproteases and proteases, that enhance the digestibility and absorption of nutrients in the gut (Gangadharan, Sivaramakrishnan, Nampoothiri, Sukumaran, & Pandey, 2008).
High‐throughput sequencing technologies have been widely used to investigate the composition of intestinal microbial communities and provided an understanding of microbial ecology that can be leveraged in a series of trials (Langille et al., 2013). Choi, Kim, and Cha (2014) studied the spatial heterogeneity of the microbial community in different gastrointestinal tracts of broilers by high‐throughput pyrosequencing. Meanwhile, the caecum is an important gastrointestinal tract for recycling urea, water regulation and carbohydrate fermentation that influences intestinal health and nutrition (Stanley, Hughes, & Moore, 2014; Waite & Taylor, 2014). Metabolomics is one of the most useful approaches to characterise the metabolites of animals (Alistair & Dove, 2013). Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the effects of B. amyloliquefaciens on growth performance, the composition of caecal microflora and the changes of caecal metabolites in broilers based on the metabolomics and high‐throughput sequencing.
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