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Effect of different feeding regimes on cecotrophy behavior and retention of solute and particle markers in the digestive tract of paca (Cuniculus paca)


Guerra Aldrigui, Letícia; Nogueira-Filho, Sérgio Luiz Gama; Mendes, Alcester; Souza Altino, Vanessa; Ortmann, Sylvia; da Cunha Nogueira, Selene Siqueira; Clauss, Marcus (2018). Effect of different feeding regimes on cecotrophy behavior and retention of solute and particle markers in the digestive tract of paca (Cuniculus paca). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 226:57-65.

Abstract

Many small herbivores practice cecotrophy - the ingestion of special feces enriched in microbial protein by colonic separation mechanisms (CSM). In digesta passage experiments, secondary marker excretion peaks in feces are considered indicative of marker-reingestion via cecotrophy, but corroboration by behavioral ob- servation was lacking so far. The paca (Cuniculus paca), a Neotropical hystricomorph rodent, produces two different kinds of feces (hard and soft) and practices cecotrophy either directly (from the anus) or indirectly (from a pile of defecated feces, mostly when hard and soft feces are defecated together). To investigate effects of diet on cecotrophy, we monitored cecotrophy behavior and digesta passage marker excretion of solute and particle markers in four adult pacas, at constant food intake, on four diets varying in protein and fiber content. Marker excretion patterns suggested a ‘mucus-trap’ CSM typical for hystricomorph rodents, and showed sec- ondary peaks of a similar time lag after cecotrophy as the primary marker peak after marker feeding. However, not every cecotrophy event was followed by a secondary marker peak. On higher fiber/lower protein diets, the number of cecotrophy bouts, the duration of cecotrophy, the number of secondary marker peaks and the dif- ference between solute and particle marker retention increased, whereas the proportion of indirect cecotrophy decreased, indicating a higher degree of digesta phase separation on these diets. Compared to hard feces, soft feces were particularly enriched in solute marker concentration. Cecotrophy depends on a CSM that varies in its efficiency with the nutrient composition of the diet.

Abstract

Many small herbivores practice cecotrophy - the ingestion of special feces enriched in microbial protein by colonic separation mechanisms (CSM). In digesta passage experiments, secondary marker excretion peaks in feces are considered indicative of marker-reingestion via cecotrophy, but corroboration by behavioral ob- servation was lacking so far. The paca (Cuniculus paca), a Neotropical hystricomorph rodent, produces two different kinds of feces (hard and soft) and practices cecotrophy either directly (from the anus) or indirectly (from a pile of defecated feces, mostly when hard and soft feces are defecated together). To investigate effects of diet on cecotrophy, we monitored cecotrophy behavior and digesta passage marker excretion of solute and particle markers in four adult pacas, at constant food intake, on four diets varying in protein and fiber content. Marker excretion patterns suggested a ‘mucus-trap’ CSM typical for hystricomorph rodents, and showed sec- ondary peaks of a similar time lag after cecotrophy as the primary marker peak after marker feeding. However, not every cecotrophy event was followed by a secondary marker peak. On higher fiber/lower protein diets, the number of cecotrophy bouts, the duration of cecotrophy, the number of secondary marker peaks and the dif- ference between solute and particle marker retention increased, whereas the proportion of indirect cecotrophy decreased, indicating a higher degree of digesta phase separation on these diets. Compared to hard feces, soft feces were particularly enriched in solute marker concentration. Cecotrophy depends on a CSM that varies in its efficiency with the nutrient composition of the diet.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Small Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
630 Agriculture
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Biochemistry
Life Sciences > Physiology
Life Sciences > Molecular Biology
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:13 Sep 2018 08:49
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 07:39
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1095-6433
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2018.08.013

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