Does gut microbiota regulate brooding in geese?
Domestic geese can reduce the amount of food intake when brooding. Because of the reduction in food intake, the total number of microorganisms in the gut is also reduced. Will this affect the goose’s thinking and make the goose stop brooding and eat food? We hypothesize that gut microbiota affects the brain through a brain–gut peptide and further regulates the breeding behavior of geese. In this study, we evaluated the microbiome related to the goose and transcription groups of brooding and egg production periods. The changes and differences in gut microbiota and gene expression of female geese in different reproduction periods were analyzed, and the possible interaction between them was explored. The results showed that the relative abundance of Faecalibacterium with a growth-promoting effect in the cecum was higher in the egg production group than in the brooding group. Microbial metabolic pathways with significant differences between the two groups were also enriched in the secondary functional groups with different gut microbiota metabolism. The downregulated genes in the egg production group were mainly related to energy metabolism, such as ATP synthesis-related genes. These results suggest that the brooding group's gut microbiota can make relevant changes according to the reproduction stage of the goose. Since the amount of food taken in is reduced, it can promote the decomposition of the host’s fat. Simultaneously, insulin is also used to deliver messages to the brain; it is necessary to end the brooding behavior at an appropriate time and for eating to start.