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Leg weakness (LW) issues are a great concern for pig breeding industry. And it also has a serious impact on animal welfare. To dissect the genetic architecture of limb-and-hoof firmness in commercial pigs, a genome-wide association study was conducted on bone mineral density (BMD) in three sow populations, including Duroc, Landrace and Yorkshire. The BMD data were obtained by ultrasound technology from 812 pigs (including Duroc 115, Landrace 243 and Yorkshire 454). In addition, all pigs were genotyped using genome-by-sequencing and a total of 224 162 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were obtained. After quality control, 218 141 SNPs were used for subsequent genome-wide association analysis. Nine significant associations were identified on chromosomes 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 and 18 that passed Bonferroni correction threshold of 0.05/(total SNP numbers). The most significant locus that associated with BMD (P value = 1.92e−14) was detected at approximately 41.7 Mb on SSC6 (SSC stands for Sus scrofa chromosome). CUL7, PTK7, SRF, VEGFA, RHEB, PRKAR1A and TPO that are located near the lead SNP of significant loci were highlighted as functionally plausible candidate genes for sow limb-and-hoof firmness. Moreover, we also applied a new method to measure the BMD data of pigs by ultrasound technology. The results provide an insight into the genetic architecture of LW and can also help to improve animal welfare in pigs.
Se can enhance lactation performance by improving nutrient utilization and antioxidant status. However, sodium selenite (SS) can be reduced to non-absorbable elemental Se in the rumen, thereby reducing the intestinal availability of Se. The study investigated the impacts of SS and coated SS (CSS) supplementation on lactation performance, nutrient digestibility, ruminal fermentation and microbiota in dairy cows. Sixty multiparous Holstein dairy cows were blocked by parity, daily milk yield and days in milk and randomly assigned to five treatments: control, SS addition (0.3 mg Se/kg DM as SS addition) or CSS addition (0.1, 0.2 and 0.3 mg Se/kg DM as CSS addition for low CSS (LCSS), medium CSS (MCSS) and high CSS (HCSS), respectively). Experiment period was 110 days with 20 days of adaptation and 90 days of sample collection. Dry matter intake was higher for MCSS and HCSS compared with control. Yields of milk, milk fat and milk protein and feed efficiency were higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Digestibility of DM and organic matter was highest for CSS addition, followed by SS addition and then control. Digestibility of CP was higher for MCSS and HCSS than for control, SS and LCSS. Higher digestibility of ether extract, NDF and ADF was observed for SS or CSS addition. Ruminal pH decreased with dietary Se addition. Acetate to propionate ratio and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was greater for SS, MCSS and HCSS than control. Ruminal H ion concentration was highest for MCSS and HCSS and lowest for control. Activities of cellobiase, carboxymethyl-cellulase, xylanase and protease and copies of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminococcus amylophilus increased with SS or CSS addition. Activity of α-amylase, copies of protozoa, Ruminococcus albus and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens and serum glucose, total protein, albumin and glutathione peroxidase were higher for SS, MCSS and HCSS than for control and LCSS. Dietary SS or CSS supplementation elevated blood Se concentration and total antioxidant capacity activity. The data implied that milk yield was elevated due to the increase in total tract nutrient digestibility, total VFA concentration and microorganism population with 0.2 or 0.3 mg Se/kg DM from CSS supplementation in dairy cows. Compared with SS, HCSS addition was more efficient in promoting lactation performance of dairy cows.
We aimed to assess the incidence of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in people with schizophrenia, to explore clinical associates with OSA and how well OSA screening tools perform in this population.
All patients registered in a community outpatient Clozapine clinic, between January 2014 and March 2016, were consecutively approached to participate. Participants were screened for OSA using at home multichannel polysomnography (PSG) and were diagnosed with OSA if the apnoea-hypopnoea index (AHI) was >10 events/hr. Univariate comparison of participants to determine whether AHI > 10 events/hr was associated with demographic factors, anthropometric measures and psychiatric symptoms and cognition was performed. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of the commonly used sleep symptoms scales and OSA screening tools were also determined.
Thirty participants were recruited, 24 men and 6 women. Mean age was 38.8 (range: 25–60), and mean body mass index (BMI) was 35.7 (range 19.9–62.1). The proportion of participants with OSA (AHI > 10 events/hr) was 40%, 18 (60%) had no OSA, 4 (13%) had mild OSA (AHI 10.1–20), zero participants had moderate OSA (AHI 20.1–30) and 8 (27%) had severe OSA (AHI > 30). Diagnosis of OSA was significantly associated with increased weight, BMI, neck circumference and systolic blood pressure. Diagnosis of OSA was not significantly associated with Positive and Negative Symptoms Scale, Montgomery Asperger’s Depression Rating Scale, Personal and Social Performance scale or Brief Assessment of Cognition for Schizophrenia scores. All OSA screening tools demonstrated poor sensitivity and specificity for a diagnosis of OSA.
OSA was highly prevalent in this cohort of people with schizophrenia and was associated with traditional anthropometric OSA risk factors.
The aim of this study was to clarify effects of Clozapine and its metabolites on insulin resection and expression of glucose transporter 2 (GLUT2) located in cell membrane of isolated rat's islets.
The cells of isolated rat's islets were prepared by a modified collagenase digestion methods. At 5.5 mmol/L glucose, the cells of islets was treated with 1mmol/L clozapine, desmethyl-clozapine(DCLO), clozapine N-oxide(CNO), respectively, blank control group was also set.
1. After incubation 48h, the insulin in supernatant was assayed by radioimmunoassay.
2. The cells of isolated rat's islets in each group were detected GLUT2 mRNA level with RT-PCR and its protein expression with Western-blot.
1. Compared to control group, clozapine significantly inhibited insulin secretion (P=0.007< 0.01); DCLO has a tendency to inhibit insulin secretion after 48h of incubation, but no significant difference was found (P=0.154>0.05). There was no difference of insulin secretion between CNO group and the control group after 48h of incubation (P>0.05).
2. The mRNA and protein expression of GLUT2 located in cell membrane of slets: clozapine group was significantly lower than control group (P=0.017< 0.05, P=0.035< 0.05), DCLO group was also lower than control group, but no significant difference was found (P>0.05), and no significant difference between CNO group and control group (P>0.05).
Clozapine can inhibit GLUT2 expression of cells of islets, and then hamper glucose transport through cell membrane, which was one of mechanisms to explain the effect of clozapine on insulin secretion.
The aim of this study was to compare the clinical efficacy and the safety of venlafaxine and fluoxetine in the treatment of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
One hundred and Eight inpatients who met the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the Forth Edition(DSM-IV) for OCD were involved in this study. The subjects were randomly divided into venlafaxine group or fluoxetine group. Efficacy of venlafaxine and fluoxetine in treatment of OCD were assessed with Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) and Clinical Global Impression-Severity(CGI-S), the side effects were evaluated with Treatment Emergent Symptom Scale (TESS).
The therapeutic efficacy in venlafaxine group was similar to that in fluoxetine (70.36%vs68.29%, P>0.05) after eight weeks’ therapy. The improve-rates of Y-BOCS after 2 weeks’ therapy of venlafaxine were significant higher than those of baseline, while the improve-rates of Y-BOCS after 4 weeks’ therapy of fluoxetine were significant higher than those of baseline(P< 0.05). The side effects of venlafaxine group were similar to fluoxetine group (P>0.05).
The results indicate that both venlafaxine and fluoxetine is effective in the treatment of OCD, but venlafaxine work faster than fluoxutine.
Previously the GABA(A) receptor beta-2 subunit gene GABRB2 was found to be associated with schizophrenia (SCZ). for SNPs and haplotypes in GRBRB2, the associations with bipolar disorder (BPD), the functional consequences on GABRB2 expression and their relationship to demographic and clinical characteristics in BPD and SCZ remain to be elucidated.
Case-control analysis was performed for association study of GABRB2 with BPD, and its mRNA expression in postmortem BPD brains was examined using quantitative real-time PCR. Quantitative trait analysis was subsequently employed to assess the covariate effects of demographic and clinical characteristics on genotypic correlation of GABRB2 expression in SCZ and BPD.
Significant association of GABRB2 with BPD and reduction in GABRB2 mRNA expression in BPD brains were observed in the present study. Duration of illness (DOI) was found to be a significant covariate for the correlation of the disease-associated SNPs rs1816071, rs1816072 and rs187269 with GABRB2 expression in both SCZ and BPD. for individuals with homozygous major genotypes of these SNPs, while GABRB2 expression increased with age in the controls, it decreased with DOI and age in SCZ, and with DOI in BPD. with age of onset as covariate, these three SNPs were significantly correlated with antipsychotic dosage in SCZ.
These results have thus revealed correlations of GABRB2 SNPs and expression not only with the occurrence of SCZ and BPD, but also with the clinical characteristics of patients, therefore providing support for a shared etiological role played by the gene in both diseases.
Planning ability as a critical component of executive function has been used to investigate prefrontal cortex (PFC) function in Schizophrenia patients by several neuroimaging studies. However, the changes of PFC activation after effective antipsychotic treatment are still unclear.
The aim of this study is to explore whether there is any variation in the prefrontal hemodynamic response during Tower of London test after 6 weeks’ antipsychotic treatment in schizophrenia patients, and the relationship between the changes in PFC activation and some demographic factors as well as the severity of the patients’ psychiatric symptoms.
40 patients with first-episode schizophrenia were recruited for the present study. 28-channel NIRS (near infrared spectroscopy) was used to measure changes in hemoglobin concentration in the prefrontal cortical surface area during Tower of London (TOL) test—a classic neuropsychological test for planning abilities. The patients were examined before treatment and after six weeks’ treatment with second-generation antipsychotic medicines.
After the short-term treatment, the patients’ TOL test performance and the activations in PFC during the task period did not differ from baseline (P>0.05), although the psychiatric symptoms of the patients were improved significantly(positive subscale score 18.25±2.86 & 12.75±2.60; general psychopathology 33.67±3.65 & 27.00±3.67; PANSS total score 72.25±7.07 & 55.42±7.53; P<0.001).
It suggests that the impairment of cognitive function and the function of the PFC of schizophrenia patients would not be improved with the improvement of psychiatric symptoms, as further support the hypothesis that PFC damage is a durable impairment for schizophrenia.
Current available antidepressants exhibit low remission rate with a long response lag time. Growing evidence has demonstrated acute sub-anesthetic dose of ketamine exerts rapid, robust, and lasting antidepressant effects. However, a long term use of ketamine tends to elicit its adverse reactions. The present study aimed to investigate the antidepressant-like effects of intermittent and consecutive administrations of ketamine on chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) rats, and to determine whether ketamine can redeem the time lag for treatment response of classic antidepressants. The behavioral responses were assessed by the sucrose preference test, forced swimming test, and open field test. In the first stage of experiments, all the four treatment regimens of ketamine (10 mg/kg ip, once daily for 3 or 7 consecutive days, or once every 7 or 3 days, in a total 21 days) showed robust antidepressant-like effects, with no significant influence on locomotor activity and stereotype behavior in the CUMS rats. The intermittent administration regimens produced longer antidepressant-like effects than the consecutive administration regimens and the administration every 7 days presented similar antidepressant-like effects with less administration times compared with the administration every 3 days. In the second stage of experiments, the combination of ketamine (10 mg/kg ip, once every 7 days) and citalopram (20 mg/kg po, once daily) for 21 days caused more rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects than citalopram administered alone. In summary, repeated sub-anesthestic doses of ketamine can redeem the time lag for the antidepressant-like effects of citalopram, suggesting the combination of ketamine and classic antidepressants is a promising regimen for depression with quick onset time and stable and lasting effects.
Recently, a triple-network model suggested the abnormal interactions between the executive-control network (ECN), default-mode network (DMN) and salience network (SN) are important characteristics of addiction, in which the SN plays a critical role in allocating attentional resources toward the ECN and DMN. Although increasing studies have reported dysfunctions in these brain networks in Internet gaming disorder (IGD), interactions between these networks, particularly in the context of the triple-network model, have not been investigated in IGD. Thus, we aimed to assess alterations in the inter-network interactions of these large-scale networks in IGD, and to associate the alterations with IGD-related behaviors.
DMN, ECN and SN were identified using group-level independent component analysis (gICA) in 39 individuals with IGD and 34 age and gender matched healthy controls (HCs). Then alterations in the SN-ECN and SN-DMN connectivity, as well as in the modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN, using a resource allocation index (RAI) developed and validated previously in nicotine addiction, were assessed. Further, associations between these altered network coupling and clinical assessments were also examined.
Compared with HCs, IGD had significantly increased SN-DMN connectivity and decreased RAI in right hemisphere (rRAI), and the rRAI in IGD was negatively associated with their scores of craving.
These findings suggest that the deficient modulation of ECN versus DMN by SN might provide a mechanistic framework to better understand the neural basis of IGD and might provide novel evidence for the triple-network model in IGD.
Tuberculosis (TB) is generally considered a disease that principally afflicts the low-income segments of a population. In the Nanshan District of Shenzhen, China, with the economic transformation and a new Headquarters Economy (HE) emerging, there are now more cases in office workers than in manufacturing workers. To illustrate this trend, we describe a small TB outbreak in an office building located in the centre of the rapidly growing HE district. Two active pulmonary tuberculosis cases were found in workers who shared an office, and whole genome sequencing showed that the genetic distance between the strains of the two cases was just one single nucleotide polymorphism, consistent with intra-office transmission. Investigation of 30 other workers in the same or adjacent offices with interviews, interferon-gamma release assays (IGRAs) and chest X-rays, identified one new TB case and latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) in 40.0% (12/30) of the contacts. The offices were under-ventilated. None of the IGRA positive, asymptomatic contacts agreed to receive treatment for LTBI, presumably due to TB stigma, and over the next 2 years 69.0% (20/29) of the contacts were lost to follow-up. Treatment for LTBI and stigma of TB remain challenges here. Office workers in the HE of rapidly economic developing areas should be targeted with increased vigilance by TB control programmes.
Cadmium (Cd) is a toxic heavy metal that poses a threat to the health of humans and animals. It can cause serious damage to the small intestine, which is the main absorption site of Cd and the primary target organ after oral administration. Our previous study found that zinc chelate of hydroxy analogue of methionine (Zn-HMTB), a new type of feed additive, decreased Cd accumulation in the liver and kidneys. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of Zn-HMTB on Cd absorption and Cd-induced toxicity in the small intestine of piglets. Twenty-four piglets (Landrace × Large White, 13.22 ± 0.58 kg BW) were randomly divided into four dietary treatment groups: basal diet, and diets containing 30 mg/kg Cd from CdCl2 and 0, 100 or 200 mg/kg Zn from Zn-HMTB. The experiment lasted 27 days. The feed intake and final BW of each piglet were recorded at the end of the experiment. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract tissue and samples of liver, kidney, spleen, heart, lung and longissimus muscle tissue and faeces were collected. The concentrations of Cd and metal trace elements in the GI tract and organs were analysed, as was the relative messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of inflammatory cytokines and metal element transporters in the small intestine, and epithelial apoptosis in the small intestine. The results showed that, compared with Cd-treated piglets, piglets in the Zn-HMTB and Cd cotreatment groups had less Cd deposition in the stomach, ileum, caecum, colon, liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, heart and muscles (P < 0.05), and lower Cd concentrations in faeces (P < 0.05), suggesting that Zn-HMTB increased Cd absorption and the excretion of Cd in other forms (possibly urine). Zinc chelate of hydroxy analogue of methionine increased Zn deposition in the jejunum and the relative mRNA expression of divalent metal transporters 1 and zinc transporter 5 in the duodenum (P < 0.05), indicating that Zn-HMTB may promote the absorption and transportation of Cd and Zn together by upregulating metal element transporters. Competition between Zn and Cd may be responsible for accelerating Cd excretion. Furthermore, Zn-HMTB reduced Cd-induced apoptosis of enterocytes and inflammatory stimuli in the small intestine, suggesting that Zn-HMTB reduced Cd-induced toxicity to the small intestine. These results suggest that Zn-HMTB can be helpful in decreasing Cd accumulation in the GI tract and organs of piglets and relieving Cd-induced toxicity to the small intestine but cannot reduce the absorption of Cd.
This study evaluated the effects of rumen-protected folic acid (RPFA) and betaine (BT) on growth performance, nutrient digestion and blood metabolites in bulls. Forty-eight Angus bulls were blocked by body weight and randomly assigned to four treatments in a 2 × 2 factorial design. BT of 0 or 0·6 g/kg DM was supplemented to diet without or with the addition of 6 mg/kg DM of folic acid from RPFA, respectively. Average daily gain increased by 25·2 and 6·29 % for addition of BT without RPFA and with RPFA, respectively. Digestibility and ruminal total volatile fatty acids of neutral-detergent fibre and acid-detergent fibre increased, feed conversion ratio and blood folate decreased with the addition of BT without RPFA, but these parameters were unchanged with BT addition in diet with RPFA. Digestibility of DM, organic matter and crude protein as well as acetate:propionate ratio increased with RPFA or BT addition. Ruminal ammonia-N decreased with RPFA addition. Activity of carboxymethyl cellulase, cellobiase, xylanase, pectinase and protease as well as population of total bacteria, protozoa, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Ruminobacter amylophilus increased with RPFA or BT addition. Laccase activity and total fungi, Ruminococcus flavefaciens and Prevotella ruminicola population increased with RPFA addition, whereas Ruminococcus albus population increased with BT addition. Blood glucose, total protein, albumin, growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor-1 increased with RPFA addition. Addition of RPFA or BT decreased blood homocysteine. The results indicated that addition of BT stimulated growth and nutrient digestion in bulls only when RPFA was not supplemented.
The aim of this research was to identify variation in the yak lipin-1 gene (LPIN1) and determine whether this variation affects milk traits. PCR-single stranded conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) analysis was used to detect variation in the 5′ untranslated region of LPIN1 in 500 yaks from four populations: Tianzhu white yaks, Qinghai yaks, wild × domestic-cross yaks and Gannan yaks. Four unique PCR-SSCP patterns, representing four different DNA sequence variants (named A, B, C and D), were observed. These contained six single nucleotide polymorphisms. Female Gannan yaks with BC genotype produced milk with a higher fat content (P < 0.001) and total milk solids (P < 0.001), than those with the AA, AB and BB genotypes. These results would suggest that LPIN1 is having an effect on yak milk fat synthesis.
The combined addition of branched-chain volatile fatty acids (BCVFAs) and folic acid (FA) could improve growth performance and nutrient utilization by stimulating ruminal microbial growth and enzyme activity. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of BCVFA and FA addition on growth performance, ruminal fermentation, nutrient digestibility, microbial enzyme activity, microflora and excretion of urinary purine derivatives (PDs) in calves. Thirty-six Chinese Holstein weaned calves (60 ± 5.4 days of age and 107 ± 4.7 kg of BW) were assigned to one of four groups in a randomized block design. Treatments were control (without additives), FA (with 10 mg FA/kg dietary DM), BCVFA (with 5 g BCVFA/kg dietary DM) and the combined addition of FA and BCVFA (10 mg/kg DM of FA and 5 g/kg DM of BCVFA). Supplements were hand-mixed into the top one-third of total mixed ration. Dietary concentrate to maize silage ratio was 50 : 50 on a DM basis. Dietary BCVFA or FA addition did not affect dry matter intake but increased average daily gain (ADG) and feed conversion efficiency. Ruminal pH and ammonia N were lower, and total volatile fatty acids (VFAs) concentration was higher for BCVFA or FA addition than for control. Dietary BCVFA or FA addition did not affect acetate proportion but decreased propionate proportion and increased acetate to propionate ratio. Total tract digestibility of DM, organic matter, CP and NDF was higher for BCVFA or FA addition than for control. Dietary BCVFA or FA addition increased activity of carboxymethyl cellulase and cellobiase, population of total bacteria, fungi, Ruminococcus albus, R. flavefaciens, Fibrobacter succinogenes and Prevotella ruminicola as well as total PD excretion. Ruminal xylanase, pectinase and protease activity and Butyrivibrio fibrisolvens population were increased by BCVFA addition, whereas population of protozoa and methanogens was increased by FA addition. The BCVFA × FA interaction was significant for acetate to propionate ratio, cellobiase activity and total PD excretion, and these variables increased more with FA addition in diet without BCVFA than in diet with BCVFA. The data indicated that supplementation with BCVFA or FA increased ADG, nutrient digestibility, ruminal total VFA concentration and microbial protein synthesis by stimulating ruminal microbial growth and enzyme activity in calves.
Adolescents have been largely neglected from tuberculosis control efforts. In low- to medium burden settings much of the tuberculosis burden in this age group occurs from school outbreaks. We report on a large tuberculosis outbreak in adolescents from a boarding high school in Jiangsu Province, China. From March to June 2018, a tuberculosis outbreak occurred in a boarding high school. We conducted an outbreak investigation involving clinical diagnostic tests and molecular analysis to determine the outbreak origin. Cases were detected through symptom screening, tuberculin skin testing (TST), chest radiography, sputum smear, solid sputum culture and GeneXpert MTB/RIF. Mycobacterial interspersed repetitive-unit-variable-number tandem-repeat (MIRU-VNTR) genotyping and spoligotyping methods were performed on Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) isolates to identify the outbreak origin. A total of 845 students and 131 teachers/staff attended a TST screening for tuberculosis infection. The prevalence of elevated tuberculin reactions at ≥5, ≥10 and ≥15 mm was 12.19% (119/976), 6.35% (62/976) and 3.28% (32/976), respectively. Radiographic abnormalities were present in 5.73% (56 of 976) individuals, 40 students and 16 teachers/staff. Of these, 12 students were diagnosed with confirmed tuberculosis. In total, 14 students (two index cases and 12 confirmed cases) were diagnosed and reported in the tuberculosis outbreak, an attack rate of 1.7% (14/847) among students (two index cases and 845 screened students). Results from MIRU-VNTR typing and spoligotyping analyses demonstrated that three M. tuberculosis strains belong to the Beijing family with corresponding MIRU-VNTR alleles. This school-based tuberculosis outbreak among adolescents demonstrates that transmission among individuals in this age group is common and must be prioritised. It suggests that identifying and timely diagnosis of smear-positive cases, especially in the early phase of outbreaks, is the key to preventing further spread among close contacts.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Music or other background sounds are often played in barns as environmental enrichment for animals on farms or to mask sudden disruptive noises. Previous studies looking at the effects of this practice on non-human animal well-being and productivity have found contradictory results. However, there is still a lack of discussion on whether piglets have the ability to distinguish different types of music. In this study, we exposed piglets to different music conditions to investigate whether the piglets preferred certain music types, in which case those types would have the potential to be used as environmental enrichment. In total, 30 piglets were tested for music type preference to determine whether growing pigs respond differently to different types of music. We used music from two families of instruments (S: string, W: wind) and with two tempos (S: slow, 65 beats/min (bpm); F: fast, 200 bpm), providing four music-type combinations (SS: string-slow; SF: string-fast; WS: wind-slow; WF: wind-fast). The piglets were given a choice between two chambers, one with no music and the other with one of the four types of music, and their behaviour was observed. The results showed that SS and WF music significantly increased residence time (P<0.01) compared with the other music conditions. Compared with the control group (with no music), the different music conditions led to different behavioural responses, where SS music significantly increased lying (P<0.01) and exploration behaviour (P<0.01); SF music significantly increased tail-wagging behaviour (P<0.01); WS music significantly increased exploration (P<0.01); and WF music significantly increased walking, lying, standing and exploration (all P<0.01). The results also showed that musical instruments and tempo had little effect on most of the behaviours. Fast-tempo music significantly increased walking (P=0.02), standing (P<0.01) and tail wagging (P=0.04) compared with slow-tempo music. In conclusion, the results of this experiment show that piglets are more sensitive to tempo than to musical instruments in their response to musical stimulation and seem to prefer SS and WF music to the other two types. The results also suggest a need for further research on the effect of music types on animals.
Heading date (HD) and flowering date (FD) are critical for yield potential and stability, so understanding their genetic foundation is of great significance in wheat breeding. Three related recombinant inbred line populations with a common female parent were developed to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) for HD and FD in four environments. In total, 25 putative additive QTL and 20 pairwise epistatic effect QTL were detected in four environments. The additive QTL were distributed across 17 wheat chromosomes. Of these, QHd-1A, QHd-1D, QHd-2B, QHd-3B, QHd-4A, QHd-4B and QHd-6D were major and stable QTL for HD. QFd-1A, QFd-2B, QFd-4A and QFd-4B were major and stable QTL for FD. In addition, an epistatic interaction test showed that epistasis played important roles in controlling wheat HD and FD. Genetic relationships between HD/FD and five yield-related traits (YRTs) were characterized and ten QTL clusters (C1–C10) simultaneously controlling YRTs and HD/FD were identified. The present work laid a genetic foundation for improving yield potential in wheat molecular breeding programmes.