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To improve the endurance performance of long-endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), a smart morphing method to adjust the UAV and flight mode continuously during flight is proposed. Using this method as a starting point, a smart morphing long-endurance UAV design is conducted and the resulting improvement in the endurance performance studied. Firstly, the initial overall design of the smart morphing long-endurance UAV is carried out, then the morphing form is designed and various control parameters are selected. Secondly, based on multi-agent theory, an architecture for the smart morphing control system is built and the workflow of the smart morphing control system is planned. The morphing decision method is designed in detail based on the particle swarm optimisation algorithm. Finally, a simulation of the smart morphing approach in the climb and cruise stages is carried out to quantitatively verify the improvement in the endurance performance. The simulation results show that the smart morphing method can improve the cruise time by 4.1% with the same fuel consumption.
Klebsiella pneumoniae is a common pathogen associated with nosocomial infections and is characterised serologically by capsular polysaccharide (K) and lipopolysaccharide O antigens. We surveyed a total of 348 non-duplicate K. pneumoniae clinical isolates collected over a 1-year period in a tertiary care hospital, and determined their O and K serotypes by sequencing of the wbb Y and wzi gene loci, respectively. Isolates were also screened for antimicrobial resistance and hypervirulent phenotypes; 94 (27.0%) were identified as carbapenem-resistant (CRKP) and 110 (31.6%) as hypervirulent (hvKP). isolates fell into 58 K, and six O types, with 92.0% and 94.2% typeability, respectively. The predominant K types were K14K64 (16.38%), K1 (14.66%), K2 (8.05%) and K57 (5.46%), while O1 (46%), O2a (27.9%) and O3 (11.8%) were the most common. CRKP and hvKP strains had different serotype distributions with O2a:K14K64 (41.0%) being the most frequent among CRKP, and O1:K1 (26.4%) and O1:K2 (17.3%) among hvKP strains. Serotyping by gene sequencing proved to be a useful tool to inform the clinical epidemiology of K. pneumoniae infections and provides valuable data relevant to vaccine design.
Previous work led to the proposal that the precision feeding of a high-concentrate diet may represent a potential method with which to enhance feed efficiency (FE) when rearing dairy heifers. However, the physiological and metabolic mechanisms underlying this approach remain unclear. This study used metabolomics analysis to investigate the changes in plasma metabolites of heifers precision-fed diets containing a wide range of forage to concentrate ratios. Twenty-four half-sib Holstein heifers, with a similar body condition, were randomly assigned into four groups and precision fed with diets containing different proportions of concentrate (20%, 40%, 60% and 80% based on DM). After 28 days of feeding, blood samples were collected 6 h after morning feeding and gas chromatography time-of-ﬂight/MS was used to analyze the plasma samples. Parameters of oxidative status were also determined in the plasma. The FE (after being corrected for gut fill) increased linearly (P < 0.01) with increasing level of dietary concentrate. Significant changes were identified for 38 different metabolites in the plasma of heifers fed different dietary forage to concentrate ratios. The main pathways showing alterations were clustered into those relating to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism; all of which have been previously associated with FE changes in ruminants. Heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher (P < 0.01) plasma total antioxidant capacity and superoxide dismutase but lower (P ≤ 0.02) hydroxyl radical and hydrogen peroxide than heifers fed with a low-concentrate diet, which might indicate a lower plasma oxidative status in the heifers fed a high-concentrate diet. Thus, heifers fed with a high-concentrate diet had higher FE and antioxidant capacity but a lower plasma oxidative status as well as changed carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism. Our findings provide a better understanding of how forage to concentrate ratios affect FE and metabolism in the precision-fed growing heifers.
Phytase has long been used to decrease the inorganic phosphorus (Pi) input in poultry diet. The current study was conducted to investigate the effects of Pi supplementation on laying performance, egg quality and phosphate–calcium metabolism in Hy-Line Brown laying hens fed phytase. Layers (n = 504, 29 weeks old) were randomly assigned to seven treatments with six replicates of 12 birds. The corn–soybean meal-based diet contained 0.12% non-phytate phosphorus (nPP), 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase. Inorganic phosphorus (in the form of mono-dicalcium phosphate) was added into the basal diet to construct seven experimental diets; the final dietary nPP levels were 0.12%, 0.17%, 0.22%, 0.27%, 0.32%, 0.37% and 0.42%. The feeding trial lasted 12 weeks (hens from 29 to 40 weeks of age). Laying performance (housed laying rate, egg weight, egg mass, daily feed intake and feed conversion ratio) was weekly calculated. Egg quality (egg shape index, shell strength, shell thickness, albumen height, yolk colour and Haugh units), serum parameters (calcium, phosphorus, parathyroid hormone, calcitonin and 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D), tibia quality (breaking strength, and calcium, phosphorus and ash contents), intestinal gene expression (type IIb sodium-dependent phosphate cotransporter, NaPi-IIb) and phosphorus excretion were determined at the end of the trial. No differences were observed on laying performance, egg quality, serum parameters and tibia quality. Hens fed 0.17% nPP had increased (P < 0.01) duodenum NaPi-IIb expression compared to all other treatments. Phosphorus excretion linearly increased with an increase in dietary nPP (phosphorus excretion = 1.7916 × nPP + 0.2157; R2 = 0.9609, P = 0.001). In conclusion, corn–soybean meal-based diets containing 0.12% nPP, 3.8% calcium, 2415 IU/kg vitamin D3 and 2000 FTU/kg phytase would meet the requirements for egg production in Hy-Line Brown laying hens (29 to 40 weeks of age).
In this paper, the generation of relativistic electron mirrors (REM) and the reflection of an ultra-short laser off the mirrors are discussed, applying two-dimension particle-in-cell simulations. REMs with ultra-high acceleration and expanding velocity can be produced from a solid nanofoil illuminated normally by an ultra-intense femtosecond laser pulse with a sharp rising edge. Chirped attosecond pulse can be produced through the reflection of a counter-propagating probe laser off the accelerating REM. In the electron moving frame, the plasma frequency of the REM keeps decreasing due to its rapid expansion. The laser frequency, on the contrary, keeps increasing due to the acceleration of REM and the relativistic Doppler shift from the lab frame to the electron moving frame. Within an ultra-short time interval, the two frequencies will be equal in the electron moving frame, which leads to the resonance between laser and REM. The reflected radiation near this interval and corresponding spectra will be amplified due to the resonance. Through adjusting the arriving time of the probe laser, a certain part of the reflected field could be selectively amplified or depressed, leading to the selective adjustment of the corresponding spectra.
Post-stroke depression (PSD) is the most common psychiatric complication facing stroke survivors and has been associated with increased distress, physical disability, poor rehabilitation, and suicidal ideation. However, the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying PSD remain unknown, and no objective laboratory-based test is available to aid PSD diagnosis or monitor progression.
Here, an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ)-based quantitative proteomic approach was performed to identify differentially expressed proteins in plasma samples obtained from PSD, stroke, and healthy control subjects.
The significantly differentiated proteins were primarily involved in lipid metabolism and immunoregulation. Six proteins associated with these processes – apolipoprotein A-IV (ApoA-IV), apolipoprotein C-II (ApoC-II), C-reactive protein (CRP), gelsolin, haptoglobin, and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein (LRG) – were selected for Western blotting validation. ApoA-IV expression was significantly upregulated in PSD as compared to stroke subjects. ApoC-II, LRG, and CRP expression were significantly downregulated in both PSD and HC subjects relative to stroke subjects. Gelsolin and haptoglobin expression were significantly dysregulated across all three groups with the following expression profiles: gelsolin, healthy control > PSD > stroke subjects; haptoglobin, stroke > PSD > healthy control.
Early perturbation of lipid metabolism and immunoregulation may be involved in the pathophysiology of PSD. The combination of increased gelsolin levels accompanied by decreased haptoglobin levels shows promise as a plasma-based diagnostic biomarker panel for detecting increased PSD risk in post-stroke patients.
Although alienation toward parents is important for children (for current mental health status or later interpersonal relationships in adulthood), it is undervalued and even lacks a standardized tool of assessment. Moreover, the large number of left-behind children in China is a cause of public concern. However, their experienced alienation toward their parents remains unclear, which may be important for early detection or intervention for behavioral problems in this population. Hence, the current study aimed to develop an alienation inventory for children and then use it to investigate the experienced alienation toward parents in Chinese left-behind children.
Two studies were carried out. Study 1 was designed to develop a standard inventory of alienation toward parents (IAP). In study 2, 8361 children and adolescents (6704 of them were left-behind status) of the Chongqing area, aged between 8 and 19 years old, were recruited for investigation. All participants were surveyed with a standard sociodemographic questionnaire, children's cognitive style questionnaire, children's depression inventory, adolescent self-rating life events checklist, and newly built IAP in study 1.
In study 1, we developed a two-component (communication and emotional distance) and 18-item (9 items for maternal or paternal form, respectively) IAP questionnaire. In study 2, exploratory factor analysis indicated an expected two-factor structure of IAP, which was confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients showed a good reliability (0.887 and 0.821 for maternal and paternal form, respectively). Children with absent mother experienced the highest alienation toward parents. Boys as well as children aged 8–10 years old experienced higher alienation toward parents. Poor communication with parents (sparse or no connection), level of left-behind condition (parents divorced, been far away from parents), and psychosocial vulnerability (stressful life events, negative cognitive style) were risk factors of alienation toward parents.
The current study develops a two-factor (communication and emotional distance) IAP, which offers a reliable tool to assess experienced alienation of affection toward parents in children aged between 8 and 19 years old. Our result is the first investigation of experienced alienation and potential influential factors in Chinese left-behind children. The findings that children with absent mother experience higher alienation toward parents, as well as three recognized risk factors for alienation of affection toward parents (poor communication with absent parents, worse left-behind condition, and psychosocial vulnerability), give valuable guidance for parents who intend to leave or who are already leaving as well as for government policymaking.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the leading cause of death among infectious diseases. China has a high burden of TB and accounted for almost 13% of the world's cases of multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB. Spinal TB is one reason for the resurgence of TB in China. Few large case studies of MDR spinal TB in China have been conducted. The aim of this research was to observe the epidemiological characteristics of inpatients with MDR spinal TB in six provinces and cities of China from 1999–2015. This is a multicentre retrospective observational study. Patients' information was collected from the control disease centre and infectious disease database of hospitals in six provinces and cities in China. A total of 3137 patients with spinal TB and 272 patients with MDR spinal TB were analysed. The result showed that MDR spinal TB remains a public health concern and commonly affects patients 15–30 years of age (34.19%). The most common lesions involved the thoracolumbar spine (35.66%). Local pain was the most common symptom (98.53%). Logistic analysis showed that for spinal TB patients, reside in rural district (OR 1.79), advanced in years (OR 1.92) and high education degree (OR 2.22) were independent risk factors for the development of MDR spinal TB. Women were associated with a lower risk of MDR spinal TB (OR 0.48). The most common first-line and second-line resistant drug was isoniazid (68.75%) and levofloxacin (29.04%), respectively. The use of molecular diagnosis resulted in noteworthy clinical advances, including earlier initiation of MDR spinal TB treatment, improved infection control and better clinical outcome. Chemotherapy and surgery can yield satisfactory outcomes with timely diagnosis and long-term treatment. These results enable a better understanding of the MDR spinal TB in China among the general public.
The small intestine is an important digestive organ and plays a vital role in the life of a pig. We tested the hypothesis that the length of the small intestine is related to growth performance and intestinal functions of piglets. A total of 60 piglets (Duroc × Landrace × Yorkshire), weaned at day 21, were fed an identical diet during a 28-day trial. At the end of the study, all piglets were sacrificed, dissected and grouped according to small intestine lengths (SILs), either short small intestine (SSI), middle small intestine (MSI) or long small intestine (LSI), respectively. Positive relationships between SIL and BW, average daily gain (ADG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and gain-to-feed ratios (G : F) were observed. Final BW, ADG, ADFI and G : F significantly increased (P < 0.05) in MSI and LSI piglets compared with SSI piglets. Short small intestine and MSI had greater jejunal mucosa sucrase and alkaline phosphatase activities (P < 0.05) than LSI piglets. The mRNA level of solute carrier family 2 member 2 (Slc2a2) in the jejunal mucosa of SSI piglets was the greatest. The MSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal villus height than other piglets and greater (P < 0.05) villus height-to-crypt depth ratios than LSI piglets. However, the LSI piglets had a greater (P < 0.05) ileal crypt depth than SSI piglets. No significant differences in duodenal, jejunal, caecal and colonic morphologies were detected among the groups. Moreover, luminal acetate, propionate, butyrate and total short-chain fatty acid contents were greater (P < 0.05) in SSI and MSI piglets than those in LSI piglets. In addition, there was greater serum glucose concentration in MSI piglets than other piglets. Serum albumin concentration in SSI piglets was the lowest. In conclusion, these results indicate that SIL was significantly positively associated with growth performance, and in terms of intestinal morphology and mucosal digestive enzyme activity, the piglets with a medium length of small intestine have better digestion and absorption properties.
Small intestinal epithelium homeostasis involves four principal cell types: enterocytes, goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cells. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) has been shown to affect enterocyte differentiation. This study determined the effect of dietary EGF on goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglet small intestine and potential mechanisms. Forty-two weaned piglets were used in a 2 × 3 factorial design; the major factors were time post-weaning (days 7 and 14) and dietary treatment (0, 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF supplementation). The numbers of goblet and enteroendocrine cells were generally greater with the increase in time post-weaning. Moreover, the supplementation of 200 µg/kg EGF increased (P < 0.01) the number of goblet and enteroendocrine cells in villus and crypt of the piglet small intestine as compared with the control. Dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of differentiation-related genes atonal homologue 1, mucin 2 and intestinal trefoil factor 3 messenger RNA (mRNA) as compared with the control. Piglets fed 200 or 400 µg/kg EGF diet had increased (P < 0.05) abundances of growth factor-independent 1, SAM pointed domain containing ETS transcription factor and pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 mRNA, but decreased the abundance (P < 0.01) of E74 like ETS transcription factor 3 mRNA as compared with the control. Animals receiving 400 µg/kg EGF diets had enhanced (P < 0.05) abundances of neurogenin3 and SRY-box containing gene 9 mRNA as compared with the control. The mRNA abundance and protein expression of lysozyme, a marker of Paneth cell, were also increased (P < 0.05) in those animals. As compared with the control, dietary supplementation with 200 µg/kg EGF increased the abundance of EGF receptor mRNA and the ratio of non-phospho(p)-β-catenin/β-catenin (P < 0.05) in villus epithelial cells at days 7 and 14. This ratio in crypt epithelial cells was higher (P < 0.05) on the both 200 and 400 µg/kg EGF groups during the same period. Our results demonstrated that dietary EGF stimulated goblet, enteroendocrine and Paneth cell differentiation in piglets during the post-weaning period, partly through EGFR and Wnt/β-catenin signalling.
Nitroethane (NE), 2-nitroethanol (NEOH) and 2-nitro-1-propanol (NPOH) were investigated in order to determine their inhibitory effects on in vitro ruminal fermentation and methane (CH4) production of a hay-rich substrate (alfalfa hay: maize meal = 4:1, w/w). The rumen liquor collected from cannulated Holstein dairy cows was incubated at 39 °C for 72 h. The addition of NE, NEOH and NPOH slowed down the fermentation process and notably decreased molar CH4 proportion by 96.8, 96.4 and 35.0%, respectively. The abundance of total methanogen and methanogens from the order Methanobacteriales were all decreased with NE, NEOH and NPOH supplementation. Meanwhile, the nitrocompound addition reduced mcrA gene expression, coenzyme F420 and F430 contents. The correlation analysis showed that CH4 production was correlated positively with the population abundance of total methanogens, Methanobacteriales, mcrA gene expression, coenzyme contents of F420 and F430. The nitrocompound addition decreased acetate concentration and increased propionate and butyrate concentrations in the culture fluid. In summary, both NE and NEOH addition presented nearly the same inhibitory effectiveness on in vitro CH4 production; they were more effective than NPOH. The results of the current study provide evidence that NE, NEOH and NPOH can dramatically decrease methanogen population, mcrA gene expression and the coenzyme content of F420 and F430 in ruminal methanogenesis.
Triploid and pentaploid breeding is of great importance in agricultural production, but it is not always easy to obtain double ploidy parents. However, in fishes, chromosome ploidy is diversiform, which may provide natural parental resources for triploid and pentaploid breeding. Both tetraploid and hexaploid exist in Schizothorax fishes, which were thought to belong to different subfamilies with tetraploid Percocypris fishes in morphology, but they are sister genera in molecule. Fortunately, the pentaploid hybrid fishes have been successfully obtained by hybridization of Schizothorax wangchiachii (♀, 2n = 6X = 148) × Percocypris pingi (♂, 2n = 4X = 98). To understand the genetic and morphological difference among the hybrid fishes and their parents, four methods were used in this study: morphology, karyotype, red blood cell (RBC) DNA content determination and inter-simple sequence repeat (ISSR). In morphology, the hybrid fishes were steady, and between their parents with no obvious preference. The chromosome numbers of P. pingi have been reported as 2n = 4X = 98. In this study, the karyotype of S. wangchiachii was 2n = 6X = 148 = 36m + 34sm + 12st + 66t, while that the hybrid fishes was 2n = 5X = 123 = 39m + 28sm + 5st + 51t. Similarly, the RBC DNA content of the hybrid fishes was intermediate among their parents. In ISSR, the within-group genetic diversity of hybrid fishes was higher than that of their parents. Moreover, the genetic distance of hybrid fishes between P. pingi and S.wangchiachii was closely related to that of their parental ploidy, suggesting that parental genetic material stably coexisted in the hybrid fishes. This is the first report to show a stable pentaploid F1 hybrids produced by hybridization of a hexaploid and a tetraploid in aquaculture.
The seasonality of individual influenza subtypes/lineages and the association of influenza epidemics with meteorological factors in the tropics/subtropics have not been well understood. The impact of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic on the prevalence of seasonal influenza virus remains to be explored. Using wavelet analysis, the periodicities of A/H3N2, seasonal A/H1N1, A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata were identified, respectively, in Panzhihua during 2006–2015. As a subtropical city in southwestern China, Panzhihua is the first industrial city in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River. The relationship between influenza epidemics and local climatic variables was examined based on regression models. The temporal distribution of influenza subtypes/lineages during the pre-pandemic (2006–2009), pandemic (2009) and post-pandemic (2010–2015) years was described and compared. A total of 6892 respiratory specimens were collected and 737 influenza viruses were isolated. A/H3N2 showed an annual cycle with a peak in summer–autumn, while A/H1N1pdm09, Victoria and Yamagata exhibited an annual cycle with a peak in winter–spring. Regression analyses demonstrated that relative humidity was positively associated with A/H3N2 activity while negatively associated with Victoria activity. Higher prevalence of A/H1N1pdm09 and Yamagata was driven by lower absolute humidity. The role of weather conditions in regulating influenza epidemics could be complicated since the diverse viral transmission modes and mechanism. Differences in seasonality and different associations with meteorological factors by influenza subtypes/lineages should be considered in epidemiological studies in the tropics/subtropics. The development of subtype- and lineage-specific prevention and control measures is of significant importance.
Hypoimmunity and numerous stresses are two major challenges in broiler industry. Nutrient intervention at the specific time of embryonic stage is a feasible way to improve animal performance. This study was conducted to investigate the possible effects of in ovo feeding (IOF) of vitamin C at embryonic age 15th day (E15) on growth performance, antioxidation and immune function of broilers. A total of 240 broiler fertile eggs were randomly divided into two groups (0 and 3 mg injected dose of vitamin C at E15), and new-hatched chicks from each treatment were randomly allocated into six replicates with 10 chicks per replicate after incubation. The results indicated that in ovo vitamin C injection improved the hatchability (P < 0.05) and increased immunoglobulin M (IgM) (at the broiler’s age 1st day, D1), IgG and IgM concentrations (D21), as well as lysozyme activity (D21, P < 0.05) and total antioxidant capacity (D42, P < 0.01) in plasma of broilers. On D21, the splenic expression level of DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) was up-regulated in vitamin C (VC) group, whereas interleukin (IL)-6, interferon-γ, ten-eleven translocation protein 1 and thymine-DNA glycosylase were down-regulated (P < 0.05). On D42, in ovo vitamin C injection up-regulated splenic expression levels of DNMT1, DNA methyltransferase 3B (DNMT3B) and growth arrest and DNA-damage-inducible protein beta (P < 0.05), whereas down-regulated splenic expression levels of IL-6, tumour necrosis factor-α and methyl-CpG-binding domain protein 4 (P < 0.05). Our findings suggested that IOF of 3 mg vitamin C at E15 could improve, to some extent, the antioxidant activity and immune function in plasma, corresponding with the lower expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in spleen. However, IOF of vitamin C leading to the changes in the expression of DNA methyltransferases and demethylases may suggest an increased trend of DNA methylation level in spleen and whether DNA methylation variation is associated with the lower expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines in spleen warrants future study.
Laser interaction with an ultra-thin pre-structured target is investigated with the help of both two-dimensional and three-dimensional particle-in-cell simulations. With the existence of a periodic structure on the target surface, the laser seems to penetrate through the target at its fundamental frequency even if the plasma density of the target is much higher than the laser’s relativistically critical density. The particle-in-cell simulations show that the transmitted laser energy behind the pre-structured target is increased by about two orders of magnitude compared to that behind the flat target. Theoretical analyses show that the transmitted energy behind the pre-structured target is actually re-emitted by electron ‘islands’ formed by the surface plasma waves on the target surfaces. In other words, the radiation with the fundamental frequency is actually ‘surface emission’ on the target rear surface. Besides the intensity of the component with the fundamental frequency, the intensity of the high-order harmonics behind the pre-structured target is also much enhanced compared to that behind the flat target. The enhancement of the high-order harmonics is also related to the surface plasma waves generated on the target surfaces.
In the collapsing phase of a molecular cloud, the molecular gas temperature is a key to understand the evolutionary process from a dense molecular cloud to stars. In order to know this, mapping observations in NH3 lines are required. Therefore, we made them based on the FUGIN (FOREST Unbiased Galactic plane Imaging survey with Nobeyama 45m telescope). The 6 maps were observed in NH3 (J,K) = (1,1), (2,2), (3,3) and H2O maser lines and obtained temperature maps; some show temperature gradient in a cloud. Additionally 72 cores were observed. These candidates were called as KAGONMA or KAG objects as abbreviation of KAgoshima Galactic Object survey with Nobeyama 45-M telescope in Ammonia lines. We show the results of two regions in W33 and discuss their astrophysical properties.
Good canopy structure is essential for optimal maize (Zea mays L.) production. However, creating appropriate maize canopy structure can be difficult, because the characteristics of individual plants are altered by changes in plant age, density and interactions with neighbouring plants. The objective of the current study was to find a reliable method for building good maize canopy structure by analysing changes in canopy structure, light distribution and grain yield (GY). A modern maize cultivar (ZhengDan958) was planted at 12 densities ranging from 1.5 to 18 plants/m2 at two field locations in Xinjiang, China. At the silking stage (R1), plant and ear height increased with plant density as well as leaf area index (LAI), whereas leaf area per plant decreased logarithmically. The fraction of light intercepted by the plant (F) increased with increasing plant density, but the light extinction coefficient (K) decreased linearly from 0.61 to 0.39. Taking the optimum value of F (95%) as an example, and using measured values of K for each plant density at R1 and the equation from Beer's law, the corresponding (theoretical) LAI for each plant density was calculated and optimum plant density (9.72 plants/m2) obtained by calculating the difference between theoretical LAIs and actual observations. Further analysis showed that plant density ranging from 10.64 to 11.55 plants/m2 yielded a stable GY range. Therefore, taking into account the persistence time for maximum LAI, the plant density required to obtain an ideal GY maize canopy structure should be increased by 10–18% from 9.72 plants/m2.
The gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of animals is capable of sensing various kinds of nutrients via G-protein coupled receptor-mediated signaling transduction pathways, and the process is known as ‘gut nutrient chemosensing’. GPR40, GPR41, GPR43 and GPR119 are chemoreceptors for free fatty acids (FFAs) and lipid derivatives, but they are not well studied in small ruminants. The objective of this study is to determine the expression of GPR40, GPR41, GPR43 and GPR119 along the GIT of kid goats under supplemental feeding (S) v. grazing (G) during early development. In total, 44 kid goats (initial weight 1.35±0.12 kg) were slaughtered for sampling (rumen, abomasum, duodenum, jejunum, ileum, cecum, colon and rectum) between days 0 and 70. The expression of GPR41 and GPR43 were measured at both mRNA and protein levels, whereas GPR40 and GPR119 were assayed at protein level only. The effects of age and feeding system on their expression were variable depending upon GIT segments, chemoreceptors and expression level (mRNA or protein), and sometimes feeding system × age interactions (P<0.05) were observed. Supplemental feeding enhanced expression of GPR40, GPR41 and GPR43 in most segments of the GIT of goats, whereas G enhanced expression of GPR119. GPR41 and GPR43 were mainly expressed in rumen, abomasum and cecum, with different responses to age and feeding system. GPR41 and GPR43 expression in abomasum at mRNA level was greatly (P<0.01) affected by both age and feeding system; whereas their expression in rumen and abomasum at protein level were different, feeding system greatly (P<0.05) affected GPR41 expression, but had no effect (P>0.05) on GPR43 expression; and there were no feeding system×age interactions (P>0.05) on GPR41 and GPR43 protein expression. The expression of GPR41 and GPR43 in rumen and abomasum linearly (P<0.01) increased with increasing age (from days 0 to 70). Meanwhile, age was the main factor affecting GPR40 expression throughout the GIT. These outcomes indicate that age and feeding system are the two factors affecting chemoreceptors for FFAs and lipid derivatives expression in the GIT of kids goats, and S enhanced the expression of chemoreceptors for FFAs, whereas G gave rise to greater expression of chemoreceptors for lipid derivatives. Our results suggest that enhanced expression of chemoreceptors for FFAs might be one of the benefits of early supplemental feeding offered to young ruminants during early development.
In vivo and in vitro trials were conducted to assess the effects of tributyrin (TB) supplementation on short-chain fatty acid (SFCA) concentrations, fibrolytic enzyme activity, nutrient digestibility and methanogenesis in adult sheep. Nine 12-month-old ruminally cannulated Small Tail ewes (initial body weight 55 ± 5.0 kg) without pregnancy were used for the in vitro trial. In vitro substrate made to offer TB at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg on a dry matter (DM) basis was incubated by ruminal microbes for 72 h at 39°C. Forty-five adult Small Tail ewes used for the in vivo trial were randomly assigned to five treatments with nine animals each for an 18-d period according to body weight (55 ± 5.0 kg). Total mixed ration fed to ewes was also used to offer TB at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg on a DM basis. The in vitro trial showed that TB supplementation linearly increased apparent digestibility of DM, crude protein, neutral detergent fibre and acid detergent fibre, and enhanced gas production and methane emissions. The in vivo trial showed that TB supplementation decreased DM intake, but enhanced ruminal fermentation efficiency. Both in vitro and in vivo trials showed that TB supplementation enhanced total SFCA concentrations and carboxymethyl cellulase activity. The results indicate that TB supplementation might exert advantage effects on rumen microbial metabolism, despite having an enhancing effect on methanogenesis.
The present study evaluated the effects of isovalerate supplementation on the development of the small intestinal mucosa in dairy calves. Forty-eight Chinese Holstein bull calves at 15 days of age and 45.1 ± 0.36 kg of body weight were assigned randomly to four groups. The treatments were control, low-isovalerate, moderate-isovalerate and high-isovalerate with 0, 3, 6 and 9 g isovalerate per calf per day, respectively. The study comprised 75 days with a 15-day adaptation period followed by a 60-day sampling period. Calves were weaned at 60 days of age. Six calves were chosen from each treatment at random and slaughtered at 30 and 90 days of age. The small intestine morphology and activities of amylase and trypsin improved significantly with increasing age. No interaction between treatments and age was observed. The small intestine length, mucosa layer thickness, villus height and crypt depth increased linearly with increasing isovalerate supplementation. However, the ratio of villus height to crypt depth was not affected by treatment. Activities of amylase and trypsin increased linearly. The lactase activity increased linearly during the 75-day period and for pre-weaned calves but was unaltered for post-weaned calves. The relative mRNA expressions of growth hormone receptor, insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor and sodium-glucose co-transporter-1 in the small intestine mucosa increased linearly, and a similar pattern was observed for the expression of peptide transporter-1 in the duodenum and proximal jejunum. The results suggested that small intestine development was promoted by isovalerate in a dose-dependent manner.