16 Scopus citations


The concept that gut microbiome-expressed functions regulate ponderal growth has important implications for infant and child health, as well as animal health. Using an intergenerational pig model of diet restriction (DR) that produces reduced weight gain, we developed a feature-selection algorithm to identify representative characteristics distinguishing DR fecal microbiomes from those of full-fed (FF) pigs as both groups consumed a common sequence of diets during their growth cycle. Gnotobiotic mice were then colonized with DR and FF microbiomes and subjected to controlled feeding with a pig diet. DR microbiomes have reduced representation of genes that degrade dominant components of late growth-phase diets, exhibit reduced production of butyrate, a key host-accessible energy source, and are causally linked to reduced hepatic fatty acid metabolism (β-oxidation) and the selection of alternative energy substrates. The approach described could aid in the development of guidelines for microbiome stewardship in diverse species, including farm animals, in order to support their healthy growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2024446118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number21
StatePublished - May 25 2021


  • Gut microbiome
  • carbohydrate-active enzymes
  • feature selection/information theory
  • malnutrition
  • metabolic regulation


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