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Abstract

Studies have found pain and inflammation in the shoulder region of working sled dogs. As skijoring is a comparable, competitive winter sport, this act may result in injuries similar to those seen in sled dogs. The purpose of this study was to assess the duration of muscle contraction, temporal, and spatial summation (E-, S-, and T-scores) of the biceps and triceps brachii muscles and compare between skijoring and free-running. Nine skijoring dogs completed a free-run and skijoring trial on the same trail in random order. Acoustic myography (AMG), measuring on:off ratio (E-score), spatial summation (S-score), and temporal summation (T-score) of the biceps and triceps brachii was performed comparing the muscle work during skijoring and free-running tasks ensuring minimal acceleration during each recording period. Statistical analyses included Shapiro-Wilk tests, paired Student’s t-tests, two-way ANOVAs, and Mann-Whitney U tests. Significance was set at P < 0.05 . When comparing the E-, S- and T-scores of the experienced dogs, the E-score of the triceps brachii was significantly lower during skijoring compared to free-running. When comparing the biceps versus the triceps in all dogs, T-score for the biceps was significantly lower than that of the triceps during skijoring. Males were significantly faster than the females during both the free-running and skijoring tasks. Males all fell in the experienced dog group. In experienced dogs, the increase in triceps workload during the task of skijoring with no apparent change in its antagonist, the biceps, could result in excess tension on the musculotendinous unit of the biceps. The relative workload of the biceps versus the triceps appears higher regarding temporal summation during skijoring.

In: Comparative Exercise Physiology

Abstract

The larvae of the black soldier fly (BSFL), Hermetia illucens L. (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), are grown on diverse residual organic matter that differ in their protein content and contain a plethora of microorganisms. The effect of dietary protein level on the interaction of BSFL with entomopathogenic bacteria remains unexplored. In this study, we investigated the role of dietary protein level on BSFL growth, uric acid accumulation, and adult emergence and the outcome of the host-pathogen interaction between BSFL and the Gram-negative bacterium Pseudomonas protegens Pf-5. We formulated three experimental diets in which digestible carbohydrate content was maintained at 50% of dry matter (DM), and crude protein was included at either 10% (low protein), 22.5% (medium protein), or 35% (high protein) DM, respectively. The influence of these diets on larval biomass, accumulation of uric acid in the larval hindgut, and subsequent adult emergence were recorded. In addition, the survival of BSFL fed on these diets was monitored for 64 hours after injection with an LD50 dose (1 μl of 2.5 × 103 CFU/ml) of P. protegens Pf-5. The biomass of 5-day-old larvae grown on a low-protein diet was higher than that of larvae grown on a high-protein diet. However, no such difference in biomass was observed in 8-day-old larvae. The amount of uric acid in the hindgut of larvae fed on high protein was three-fold and two-fold higher than larvae fed on low- and medium-protein diets, respectively. Adult emergence on a high-protein diet was significantly reduced and delayed compared to low- and medium-protein diets. BSFL fed a high-protein diet displayed significantly lower survival after infection with P. protegens Pf-5 than those fed a low-protein diet. Overall, feeding a high-protein diet reduced adult emergence and combined with infection with a Gram-negative bacterium survival of BSF larvae was strongly reduced.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Sleep quality and duration can be impacted by diet, and has been linked to gut microbiota composition and function as the result of communication via the microbiota-gut-brain axis. As one strategy to improve sleep quality could be through the modulation of the gut microbiome, we assessed the effects of a dairy-based product containing whey protein, galacto-oligosaccharides, tryptophan, vitamins and minerals after a 3 weeks intervention on gut microbiota composition and (gut-brain related) functions on basis of 67 healthy subjects with moderate sleep disturbances. Associations of the gut microbiota with sleep quality and with response/non-response to the treatment were revealed by shotgun metagenomics sequencing of faecal DNA samples, and subsequent analyses of microbiota taxonomy and generic functionality. A database of manually curated Gut-Brain Modules (GBMs) was applied to analyse specific microbial functions/pathways that have the potential to interact with the brain. A moderate discriminating effect of the DP treatment on gut microbiota composition was revealed which could be mainly attributed to a decrease in Pseudomonas resinovorans, Flintibacter sp. KGM00164, Intestinimonas butyriciproducens, and Flavonifractor plautii. As interindividual variance in microbiota composition could have given rise to a heterogenous responsiveness of the subjects in the intervention group, we zoomed in on the differences between responders and non-responders. A significant difference in baseline microbiota composition between responders and non-responders was apparent, showing lower Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium adolescentis, and higher Faecalibacterium prausnitzii relative abundances in responders. The findings provide leads with respect to the effectiveness and potential underlying mechanisms of mode of action in sleep improvement that could support future nutritional interventions to aid sleep improvement.

Open Access
In: Beneficial Microbes

Abstract

The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens. L (Diptera: Stratiomyidae), is often harnessed to transform organic waste into nutrient-rich larval biomass, providing an alternative animal feed in the aquaculture industry. In Israel, rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) is a common ornamental plant in gardens that also demonstrates insecticidal and repellent properties and medicinal value. This study focuses on utilizing rosemary waste to produce nutrient-enriched BSF larvae for animal feed and potential medical applications. We evaluated BSF larval survivability, adult emergence and metabolomics following supplementation with different percentages of rosemary leaves (4%, 15%, and 20%, relative to 25 g of the total Gainesville diet). Surprisingly, we observed 95-99.6% larval survivability in the rosemary treatments, comparable to the control. Larval body weight slightly decreased by 4%, 12%, and 20%, respectively, measured as 219 ± 3 mg, 220 ± 3 mg, and 219 ± 4 mg, respectively, compared to the control (249 ± 5 mg) (x̄ ± SE; P = 1.83 × 10 7 ). There was a significant difference in adult emergence at 10 days from larval addition ( P = 0.002 ), but no difference after 16 days ( P = 0.15 ). Metabolomics analysis unveiled the over-accumulation of metabolites in BSF larvae after rosemary supplementation linked to aminoacyl-tRNA biosynthesis, glutathione metabolism, phenylalanine metabolism, arginine biosynthesis, phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan biosynthesis, butanoate metabolism, and arginine and proline metabolism. Conversely, purine metabolism, tyrosine metabolism, and pantothenate and CoA biosynthesis were down-accumulated. Rosemary supplementation also led to the over-accumulation of antioxidant metabolites (rosmarinic acid, carnosic acid, and caffeic acid), suggesting that including rosemary powder in organic compost slightly reduced larval body weight but shortened adult developmental time and enhancing the nutritional value of BSF larvae. However, further molecular studies are necessary to understand BSF resistance and other biochemical changes resulting from rosemary inclusion in their diet.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Sarcopenia is an age-related condition characterised by muscle atrophy and loss of muscle mass. The degradation of myofibrils (atrophy) caused by the activation of myofibrillar degradation proteins, e.g. due to a decrease in nitric oxide (NO) associated with aging, contributes to sarcopenia. NO is involved in glucose and lipid metabolism and mitochondrial proliferation; however, whether endurance exercise increases NO production remains unclear. Therefore, in this study, we examined whether endurance exercise promotes metabolic signalling in muscles during continuous suppression of NO production. Mice were assigned to three groups: control, nitric oxide synthase inhibitor administration (L-NAME), and L-NAME administration plus endurance exercise (L-NAME + Ex). The L-NAME group was administered an NO synthesis inhibitor, and the L-NAME + Ex group was administered the inhibitor and performed exercise. The relative amounts of calmodulin (CaM) and nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) in the soleus muscle were significantly increased in the L-NAME + Ex group compared with those in the control and L-NAME groups. In addition, the relative amounts of Sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC1α) in the L-NAME + Ex group were significantly higher than those in the L-NAME group and similar to those in the control group. CaM and nNOS are involved in NO production, whereas Sirt1 and PGC1α play facilitatory roles in glucose and lipid metabolism. These findings suggest that endurance exercise may enhance muscle metabolic signalling by increasing NO production, even with the suppression of NO synthesis.

In: Comparative Exercise Physiology

Abstract

Insects are becoming more popular as a soybean meal substitute because they can be raised sustainably on food and feed residues, which improves farming efficiency, sustainability, and animal welfare. In the current study, we replaced 4, 8 and 12% SBM with lesser mealworm Alphitobius diaperinus (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae and determined its effects on productive performances, blood parameters, gut morphometry and meat quality of the broiler chickens. We also compared commercially available black soldier fly Hermetia illucens (Diptera: Stratiomyidae) larvae. A total of 350 one-day-old broiler chicks (Ross 308) were randomly assigned to seven isocaloric and isonitrogenous diets (5 pens/treatment and 10 birds/pen). The results found that 12% A. diaperinus and H. illucens diets significantly ( P < 0.05 ) increased the live weight (LW) and average daily weight gain (ADG) while improving feed conversion ratio (FCR) in the broilers. Daily feed intake (DFI) did not show a significant difference ( P > 0.05 ) among all the dietary treatments. Haematology and serum biochemistry traits were significantly ( P < 0.05 ) improved except MCHC, monocytes, Eosinophils (EO), albumin and creatinine. The 12% A. diaperinus and H. illucens diets showed the highest villus height (Vh) and the lowest crypt depth than other diets. The meat quality traits were statistically ( P < 0.05 ) improved except meat pH, drip loss and shear force ( P > 0.05 ). The results of the study highlight the importance of substituting SBM up to 12% with either A. diaperinus or H. illucens larvae, which improves the productive performances, blood parameters, gut morphometry and meat quality of broilers and thus can be incorporated as an alternative protein source in poultry feed.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

The yellow mealworm, super worm, and house cricket are among the most widely produced insects, with high feed conversion efficiency. However, their nutritional composition and development rate generally vary with environmental conditions. From an economic point of view, rearing conditions such as diet, temperature, and development time; insect performance such as mortality and nutritional value are the most important factors. In order to assess the development, growth, feed conversion efficiency, and chemical composition of Zophobas morio (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) larvae fed with diets containing poultry litter, an experiment was conducted. Five diets with varying levels of poultry litter inclusion (0, 25, 50, 75, and 100%) were used to replace the control diet (broiler feed), with five replicates containing 25 larvae per sample unit. Larval growth and development were assessed, and the chemical compositions of both the diet and Z. morio larvae were determined. Significant differences were observed among treatments for development time, survival rate, pupa weight, adult weight of Z. morio subjected to different poultry litter-based diets, as well as in the nutritional index bioassay. The longest development time and the highest larval mortality were observed in the 100% poultry litter-based diets. The highest percentage of crude protein in larval meal (%CP) was obtained with the addition of 25 and 50% poultry litter and was lowest with 100%. The incorporation of poultry litter into the diet of Z. morio has a multifaceted impact on growth and feed conversion efficiency. Elevated levels of poultry litter inclusion led to an extension in development time, yet food conversion efficiency attains optimization with an inclusion rate of up to 50%. Consequently, the decision regarding the proportion of poultry litter in the diet should be carefully weighed, taking into account breeding objectives, efficiency considerations, and cost factors. This ensures the attainment of an optimal balance between larval growth and nutritional efficiency.

In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

The yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.; Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) has been proposed during the last decade as a suitable insect species for feed and food production. The inclusion of by- and side-products of cereal and vegetable production in the feed of yellow mealworm increases the probability of exposure to Bacillus thuringiensis sv. morrisoni biovar tenebrionis (Btt), an entomopathogen used in the biological control of coleopteran pest species. The lack of studies on effects of Btt spores and toxin on T. molitor in mass-rearing systems led us to explore its effect on survival and growth of larvae and its persistence in larvae and in frass. Larvae of different body weight (3, 5, 10 and 40 mg) were exposed by free feeding for 72 hours to a range of Btt spore – crystal concentrations spiked to wheat bran (WB). Susceptibility to the entomopathogen was concentration-dependent and linked to the larval body weight, larvae of higher weight being less susceptible. Growth and feed conversion ratio of survivors showed significant impact for low-weight larvae while less or no effect was recorded for larvae having higher weight. Btt was still recovered from larvae and frass 14 days after feeding with non-contaminated WB, indicating a certain level of persistence in the tested conditions, on alive 40-mg larvae, implying a potential risk in T. molitor mass rearing.

Open Access
In: Journal of Insects as Food and Feed

Abstract

Chronic intestinal inflammation is associated with strong alterations of the microbial composition of the gut. Probiotic treatments and microbiota-targeting approaches have been considered to reduce the inflammation, improve both gut barrier function as well as overall gastrointestinal health. Here, a murine model of experimental colitis was used to assess the beneficial health effects of Bacillus subtilis SF106 and Bacillus clausii (recently renamed Shouchella clausii) SF174, two spore-forming strains previously characterised in vitro as potential probiotics. Experimental colitis was induced in BALB/c mice by the oral administration of dextran sodium sulphate (DSS) and groups of animals treated with spores of either strain. Spores of both strains reduced the DSS-induced inflammation with spores of B. clausii SF174 more effective than B. subtilis SF106. Spores of both strains remodelled the mouse gut microbiota favouring the presence of beneficial microbes such as members of the Bacteroidetes and Akkermansia genera.

In: Beneficial Microbes