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Engineering optimal livestock microbiomes

Cows eating hay © Image by skeeze from Pixabay

The human population is predicted to reach approximately 9.7 billion by 2050. Consequently, ensuring future food availability, safety, and nutritional content is crucial. Gastrointestinal tract microbiomes of livestock animals play a crucial role in processing dietary components and providing the host with the necessary nutrients for growth. Recently, the terminology of the holobiont (the host and its microbiota) has been introduced in recognition of the importance of the interactions between the host and its microbiota, their influence on host phenotype, and the need to consider them as one unit.

Whilst livestock holobionts have evolved over millennia, this often does not result in increased food availability through enhanced production, as the GI tract microbes prioritise their own nutrition before the nutrition of the host.  This means that feed conversion is often sub-optimal and therefore understanding what is the ‘best’ microbiome from a production perspective, and biotic and abiotic factors which govern microbiome composition, are key to our ability to feed the human population in the future.

We cordially invite research and review papers in this new Animal Microbiome journal series, focused on progress in the area of engineering optimal livestock microbiomes.

For more information on how to submit your work to this series, please consult the journal's Submission guidelines.

Submission deadline: July 31st 2022.

  1. The welfare of farmed fish is influenced by numerous environmental and management factors. Fish skin is an important site for immunity and a major route by which infections are acquired. The objective of this ...

    Authors: Ashraf Al-Ashhab, Rivka Alexander-Shani, Yosef Avrahami, Roberto Ehrlich, Rosa Ines Strem, Shiri Meshner, Noam Shental and Galit Sharon
    Citation: Animal Microbiome 2022 4:42
  2. The rumen bacterial communities are changing dynamically throughout the first year of calf’s life including the weaning period as a critical event. Rumen microbiome analysis is often limited to invasive rumen ...

    Authors: Nida Amin, Sarah Schwarzkopf, Asako Kinoshita, Johanna Tröscher-Mußotter, Sven Dänicke, Amélia Camarinha-Silva, Korinna Huber, Jana Frahm and Jana Seifert
    Citation: Animal Microbiome 2021 3:31
  3. The nutrition of calves from birth until weaning is predominantly from liquid (milk or milk-based) feeds. Liquid feed allowances are often restricted during artificial rearing to accelerate the development of ...

    Authors: Sandeep Kumar, M. Ajmal Khan, Emma Beijer, Jinxin Liu, Katherine K. Lowe, Wayne Young, David A. Mills and Christina D. Moon
    Citation: Animal Microbiome 2021 3:27
  4. Newborn ruminants possess an underdeveloped rumen which is colonized by microorganisms acquired from adult animals and the surrounding environment. This microbial transfer can be limited in dairy systems in wh...

    Authors: Juan Manuel Palma-Hidalgo, Elisabeth Jiménez, Milka Popova, Diego Pablo Morgavi, Antonio Ignacio Martín-García, David Rafael Yáñez-Ruiz and Alejandro Belanche
    Citation: Animal Microbiome 2021 3:11
  5. Dietary intake is known to be a driver of microbial community dynamics in ruminants. Beef cattle go through a finishing phase that typically includes very high concentrate ratios in their feed, with consequent...

    Authors: Timothy J. Snelling, Marc D. Auffret, Carol-Anne Duthie, Robert D. Stewart, Mick Watson, Richard J. Dewhurst, Rainer Roehe and Alan W. Walker
    Citation: Animal Microbiome 2019 1:16