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Probiotics are widely used in agricultural breeding for care and maintenance of animal health, especially Bacillus coagulans, a new and popular species that could replace Lactobacillus. However, lead contamination in feed might influence the beneficial function. In the present study, Bacillus coagulans R11 was used as a model bacterium to investigate the effect of lead on changes in metabolites and genes, which could influence the beneficial function on laying hen. At the laboratory scale, transcriptomics and metabolomics were used to screen the main metabolites and related genes under lead exposure. The results showed that 4-acetamidobutanoic acid, dodecanoic acid, L-3-phenyllactic acid, apigenin and daidzein, which are antioxidants and antibacterial agents, were the main metabolites, even in the 100 ppm lead exposure group (the levels of these metabolites were 1.17-, 1.10-, 4.80-, 1.43- and 1.67-fold higher in the 100 ppm group than in pure culture medium). Twenty-three genes associated with the syntheses of the above 5 main metabolites were identified. Further animal experiments showed that B. coagulans R11 feeding of laying hens under lead exposure could prevent oxidative damage by increasing T-AOC and T-SOD activity and reducing the MDA concentration in serum and reducing the abundances of potential pathogens (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Salmonella). Further analysis also showed that the inhibition of pathogen growth was due to the regulation of gene expression, as observed by transcriptomics, and these genes were associated with the abovementioned 5 main metabolites. However, the laying rate decreased by 10.53% compared with that of the control group when the lead exposure concentration was 100 mg/kg. The present study suggested that Bacillus coagulans R11 could help prevent oxidative damage and inhibit pathogen growth in laying hens to maintain a healthy intestinal environment for daily breeding, but under high-lead conditions, Bacillus coagulans R11 feeding could decrease the laying rate.

Keywords: Bacillus coagulans R11; Laying hens; Lead; Metabolism; Pathogen.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bacillus coagulansMaintained Healthy Gut EnvironmentBeneficial
Bacillus coagulansReduced Laying RateHarmful
Bacillus coagulansReduced Oxidative DamageBeneficial
Bacillus coagulansReduced Pathogen GrowthBeneficial
Bacillus coagulans ProDuraReduced Laying RateHarmful
Bacillus coagulans ProDuraReduced Oxidative DamageBeneficial
Bacillus coagulans ProDuraReduced Pathogen GrowthBeneficial
Bacillus coagulans ProDuraReduced Potential Pathogenic BacteriaBeneficial
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