In this study, sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene targeting the V4-V6 regions was conducted to assess the cecal microbial alterations in response to dietary supplementation with a yeast derived mannan rich fraction (MRF) in standard commercial broiler production settings across four separate broiler trials. The resulting data was analysed to identify consistent changes in the bacterial community structure of the broiler cecum in response to MRF supplementation. Subsequently, the datasets from each individual trial were pooled and analysed for differences between control and MRF supplemented diets at day 35 posthatch. The results from this analysis showed that Phylum Firmicutes was decreased and Phylum Bacteroidetes was increased across all four trials at day 35 posthatch when compared to the control. An extension of the random forest bioinformatics approach to discover a highly relevant set of microbial operational taxonomic units (OTUs) which are indicative of MRF supplementation in the broiler cecum was then used. This approach has enabled the identification of a novel set of yeast-mannan sensitive bacterial OTUs in the cecal microbiome. This information will be helpful in developing potential future nutritional strategies and will be favourable to the poultry industry.
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