ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0088.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: YOLOv2; transfer learning; pig farming; object detection
Online: 4 September 2020 (07:59:03 CEST)
Generic object detection is one of the most important and flourishing branches of computer vision and has real-life applications in our day to day life. With the exponential development of deep learning-based techniques for object detection, the performance has enhanced considerably over the last 2 decades. However, due to the data-hungry nature of deep models, they don't perform well on tasks which have very limited labeled dataset available. To handle this problem, we proposed a transfer learning-based deep learning approach for detecting multiple pigs in the indoor farm setting. The approach is based on YOLO-v2 and the initial parameters are used as the optimal starting values for train-ing the network. Compared to the original YOLO-v2, we transformed the detector to detect only one class of objects i.e. pigs and the back-ground. For training the network, the farm-specific data is annotated with the bounding boxes enclosing pigs in the top view. Experiments are performed on a different configuration of the pen in the farm and convincing results have been achieved while using a few hundred annotated frames for fine-tuning the network.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201709.0057.v2
Online: 7 November 2017 (10:53:19 CET)
The pig is an important source of meat production and provides a valuable model for certain human diseases. MicroRNA (miRNA), which is non-coding RNA and regulates gene expression at the posttranscriptional level, plays a critical role in various biological processes. Studies on identification and function of mature miRNAs in multiple pig tissues are increasing, yet the literature is limited. Therefore, we reviewed current research to determine the miRNAs expressed in specific pig tissues that are involved in carcass values (including muscle and adipocytes), reproduction (including pituitary, testis, and ovary), and development of some solid organs (e.g., brain, lung, kidney, and liver). We also discuss the possible regulating mechanisms of miRNA. Finally, as pig organs are suitable candidates for xenotransplantation, biomarkers of their miRNA in xenotransplantation were evaluated.
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: probiotic; pig; poultry; microbiota; microbiome; intestine
Online: 19 November 2020 (10:26:23 CET)
The intestinal microbiota and its functions are regarded as critical for host health and disease. Probiotics can influence the gut microbiome and its interactions with the host, and are currently defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host”. Probiotics have become common components of strategies to promote livestock health, welfare and productivity, not least due to restrictions on the use of antimicrobial drugs. Common probiotic organisms are considered commensals and are ‘generally recognized as safe’ (GRAS) via oral administration. This review outlines potential probiotic mechanisms, including recent findings. These mechanisms include those interactions primarily occurring between the supplemented probiotic microorganisms and the indigenous intestinal microbiota, perhaps within the gut lumen, as well as more direct interactions with the host via mucosal receptors or more distally following absorption of microbial components. There is good evidence that the gut microbiome is relatively stable in ‘healthy’ individuals and resistant to ‘colonisation’ by exogenous microbes, which helps exclude pathogens, but has implications for the establishment of probiotics, and could increase the importance of microbe-microbe interactions. However, such microbiomes may be receptive to complementary microbes or functions, while supplemented probiotics may dominate luminal populations, particularly in less populated regions of the intestine. Moreover, host-adapted microbes or microbiomes may elicit different host responses and/or be more effective. Some considerations for the interpretation of study results, including extrapolation from different models or microbial strains, are also included. In addition, notable mechanistic and/or pathogen challenge studies from pigs and poultry are highlighted to underline the recognised potential of probiotics in these species, particularly as the appropriate selection of microorganisms and their application continues to be better understood and improve.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0177.v1
Online: 17 January 2020 (04:32:53 CET)
Copper smelting slag is a solution of molten oxides created during the copper smelting and refining process, and about 1.5 million tons of copper slag is generated annually in Korea. Oxides in copper smelting slag include ferrous (FeO), ferric oxide (Fe2O3), silica (SiO2 from flux), alumina (AI2O3), calcia (CaO) and magnesia (MgO). Main oxides in copper slag, which iron oxide and silica, exist in the form of fayalite (2FeO·SiO2). Since the copper smelting slag contains high content of iron, and copper and zinc. Common applications of copper smelting slag are the value added products such as abrasive tools, roofing granules, road-base construction, railroad ballast, fine aggregate in concrete, etc., as well as the some studies have attempted to recover metal values from copper slag. This research was intended to recovery Fe-Cu alloy, raw material of zinc and produce reformed slag like a blast furnace slag for blast furnace slag cement from copper slag. As a results, it was confirmed that reduction smelting by carbon at temperatures above 1400°С is possible to recover pig iron containing copper from copper smelting slag, and CaO additives in the reduction smelting assist to reduce iron oxide in the fayalite and change the chemical and mineralogical composition of the slag. Copper oxide in the slag can be easily reduced and dissolved in the molten pig iron, and zinc oxide is also reduced to a volatile zinc, which is removed from the furnace as the fumes, by carbon during reduction process. When CaO addition is above 5wt.%, acid slag has been completely transformed to calcium silicate slag and observed like blast furnace slag.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0362.v1
Online: 21 September 2021 (12:34:20 CEST)
Multiplex genome editing may induce genotoxicity and chromosomal rearrangements due to double-strand DNA breaks at multiple loci simultaneously induced by programmable nucleases, including CRISPR/Cas9. However, recently developed base-editing systems can directly substitute target sequences without double-strand breaks. Thus, the base-editing system is expected to be a safer method for multiplex genome-editing platforms for livestock. Target-AID is a base editing system composed of PmCDA1, a cytidine deaminase from sea lampreys, fused to Cas9 nickase. It can be used to substitute cytosine for thymine in 3-5 base editing windows, 18 bases upstream of the protospacer-adjacent motif site. In the current study, we demonstrated Target-AID-mediated base editing in porcine cells for the first time. We targeted multiple loci in the porcine genome using the Target-AID system and successfully induced target-specific base substitutions with up to 63.15% efficiency. This system can be used for the further production of various genome-engineered pigs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0356.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: lncRNA; obesity; fatness, pig; gene expression regulation; miRNA
Online: 12 March 2021 (21:25:35 CET)
Obesity is a problem in the last decades since the development of different technologies forced the submission of a faster pace of life, resulting in nutrition style changes. In turn, domestic pigs are an excellent animal model in recognition of adiposity-related processes, corresponding to the size of individual organs, the distribution of body fat in the organism, and similar metabolism. The present study applied the next-generation sequencing method to identify adipose tissue (AT) transcriptomic signals related to increased fat content by identifying differentially expressed genes (DEGs), included long-non coding RNA molecules. The Freiburg RNA tool was applied to recognise predicting hybridisation energy of RNA-RNA interactions. The results indicated several long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) whose expression was significantly positively or negatively associated with fat deposition. lncRNAs play an essential role in regulating gene expression by sponging miRNA, binding transcripts, facilitating translation, or coding other smaller RNA regulatory elements. In the pig fat tissue of obese group, increased expression of lncRNAs corresponding to human MALAT1 was observed that previously recognised in the obesity-related context. Moreover, hybridisation energy analyses pinpointed numerous potential interactions between identified differentially expressed lncRNAs, and obesity-related genes and miRNAs expressed in AT.
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: pig; NREP; gene expression; polymorphism; SNP; meat performance
Online: 1 December 2020 (08:48:46 CET)
The expression microarray technique was performed to investigate the differences in gene expression between Czech Large White pigs and wild boars in the longissimus lumborum et thoracis and biceps femoris muscle tissues. The NREP gene (neuronal regeneration related protein homolog) was selected for detailed study as an expressional and functional candidate gene. NREP plays a role in the transformation of neural, muscle and fibroblast cells and in smooth muscle myogenesis. Quantitative real-time PCR results confirmed that the porcine NREP gene was expressed in both skeletal muscles and significantly overexpressed in Czech Large White pigs compared to wild boars (P < 0.05). We identified 9 polymorphic sites in genomic DNA of NREP gene. Six of these polymorphisms were in complete linkage disequilibrium and therefore only 4 polymorphisms were informative. Associations of these 4 polymorphisms (HF571253:g.103G>A, HF571253:g.134G>A, HF571253:g.179T>C and HF571253:g.402_409delT) with meat performance traits were assessed in Czech Large White pigs. New polymorphisms in NREP gene were significantly associated with parameters of daily weight gain, lean meat and backfat thickness in Czech Large White pigs. Our primary study suggested that porcine NREP may play an important role in skeletal muscle growth, fat metabolism and meat performance traits.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0257.v1
Online: 30 March 2018 (06:02:33 CEST)
Recently, selection in pigs has been focused on improving the lean meat content in carcasses; this focus has been most evident in breeds constituting a paternal component in breeding. Such sire-breeds are used to improve the meat quantity of cross-breed pig lines. However, even in one breed, a significant variation in the meatiness level can be observed. In the present study, the comprehensive analysis of genes and microRNA expression profiles in porcine muscle tissue was applied to identify the genetic background of meat content. The comparison was performed between whole gene expression and miRNA profiles of muscle tissue collected from two sire-line pig breeds (Piertain, Hampshire). The RNA-seq approach allowed the identification of 627 and 416 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between pig groups differing in terms of loin weight between Pietrain and Hampshire breeds, respectively. The comparison of miRNA profiles showed differential expression of 57 microRNAs for Hampshire and 34 miRNAs for Pietrain pigs. Next, 43 genes and 18 miRNAs were selected as differentially expressed in both breeds and potentially related to muscle development. According to Gene Ontology analysis, identified DEGs and microRNAs were involved in the regulation of the cell cycle, fatty acid biosynthesis and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. The most deregulated pathways dependent on muscle mass were the Hippo signalling pathway connected with the TGF-beta signalling pathway and controlling organ size via the regulation of ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, cell proliferation and apoptosis. The identified target genes were also involved in pathways such as the FoxO signalling pathway, signalling pathways regulating pluripotency of stem cells and the PI3K-Akt signalling pathway. The obtained results indicate molecular mechanisms controlling porcine muscle growth and development. Identified genes (SOX2, SIRT1, KLF4, PAX6 and genes belonging to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily) could be considered candidate genes for determining muscle mass in pigs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201704.0052.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: lysine; skeletal muscle; transcriptome; gene expression; microarray; pig
Online: 10 April 2017 (06:30:13 CEST)
Nine crossbred finishing barrows randomly assigned to 3 dietary treatments were used to investigate the effects of dietary lysine on muscle growth related metabolic and signaling pathways. Muscle samples were collected from the longissimus dorsi of individual pigs after feeding the lysine-deficient, lysine-adequate, or lysine-excess diet for 5 weeks, and the total RNA was extracted afterwards. Affymetrix Porcine Gene 1.0 ST Array was used to quantify the expression levels of 19,211 genes. A total of 674 transcripts were differentially expressed (P ≤ 0.05); 60 out of 131 transcripts (P ≤ 0.01) were annotated in the NetAffx database. Ingenuity pathway analysis showed that dietary lysine deficiency may lead to (1) increased muscle protein degradation via the ubiquitination pathway as indicated by the up-regulated DNAJA1, HSP90AB1 and UBE2B mRNA, (2) reduced muscle protein synthesis via the up-regulated RND3 and ZIC1 mRNA, (3) increased serine and glycine synthesis via the up-regulated PHGDH and PSPH mRNA, and (4) increased lipid accumulation via the up-regulated ME1, SCD, and CIDEC mRNA. Dietary lysine excess may lead to (1) decreased muscle protein degradation via the down-regulated DNAJA1, HSP90AA1, HSPH1, and UBE2D3 mRNA, and (2) reduced lipid biosynthesis via the down-regulated CFD and ME1 mRNA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202301.0313.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Minipig; Brain; Segmentation; Landmarks; Image Processing; Deep Learning; Pig
Online: 17 January 2023 (12:42:08 CET)
Translation of basic animal research to find effective methods of diagnosing and treating human neurological disorders requires parallel analysis infrastructures. Small animals such as mice provide exploratory animal disease models. However, many interventions developed using small animal models fail to translate to human use due to physical or biological differences. Recently, large-animal minipigs have emerged in neuroscience due to both brain similarity and economic advantages. Medical image processing is a crucial part of research as it allows researchers to monitor their experiments and understand disease development. However, although many algorithms are created and optimized for MR analysis of human data, those tools are not directly applicable or sufficiently sensitive to measure minipig data. In this work, we propose PigSNIPE - a pipeline for the automated handling, processing, and analyzing of large-scale data sets of minipig MR images. The pipeline allows for image registration, AC-PC alignment, landmark detection, skull stripping, brainmasks and intracranial volume segmentation (DICE 0.98), tissue segmentation (DICE 0.82), and caudate-putamen brain segmentation (DICE 0.8) in under two minutes. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first automated pipeline tool aimed at large animal images.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0089.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Pig; Porcine Circovirus 2; ORF2 capsid protein; vaccine; protection.
Online: 3 August 2021 (15:01:17 CEST)
Porcine Circovirus 2 (PCV2) vaccines are based on either inactivated whole virion, or recombinant ORF2 capsid protein assembled into Virus-like Particles (VLPs). No data are available instead about the immunizing properties of free, non-assembled capsid protein. To investigate this issue, ORF2 of a reference PCV2b strain was expressed in a Baculovirus-based expression system without assembly into VLPs. The free purified protein was formulated into an oil vaccine at three distinct Ag payloads: 10.8 / 3.6 / 1.2 micrograms /dose. Each dose was injected intramuscularly into five, 37-day old piglets, carefully matched for maternally-derived antibody. Five control piglets were injected with sterile PBS in oil adjuvant. Twenty-eight days later, all the pigs were challenged intranasally with 200,000 TCID50 of PCV2b strain DV6503. After challenge infection, all the pigs remained in good clinical conditions. The recombinant vaccine did not induce significant antibody and PCV2-specific IFN-gamma responses. ELISPOT and lymphocyte proliferation data confirmed poor induction of cell-mediated immunity. In terms of PCV2 viremia, there was no significant difference between vaccinated and control animals. The histological data indicated the absence of a detectable viral load and of PCVAD lesions in both vaccinated and control animals, as well as of histiocytes and multi-nucleated giant cells. We conclude that free, non-assembled ORF2 capsid protein does not induce protective immunity.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0313.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Pig; PRRS; PRRS virus; immune response; disease resistance; disease control
Online: 14 July 2021 (09:40:20 CEST)
The control of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRS) is still a major issue worldwide in the pig farming sector. Despite extensive research efforts and the practical experience gained so far, the syndrome still heavily affects farmed pigs worldwide and challenges established beliefs in veterinary virology and immunology. The clinical and economic repercussions of PRRS are based on concomitant, additive features of virus pathogenicity, host susceptibility and influence of environmental, microbial and non-microbial stressors. This makes a case for integrated, multi-disciplinary research efforts in which the three types of contributing factors are critically evaluated toward the development of successful disease control strategies. These could be definitely eased by the definition of reliable markers of disease risk and virus pathogenicity. As for the host’s susceptibility to PRRSV infection and disease onset, the roles of both innate and adaptive immune responses are still ill-defined. In particular, the overt discrepancy between passive and active immunity and the uncertain role of adaptive immunity vis-à-vis an established PRRSV infection should prompt the scientific community to the development of novel research schemes, in which apparently diverging and contradictory findings could be reconciled, and eventually brought to a satisfactory conceptual framework.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0276.v1
Subject: Biology, Animal Sciences & Zoology Keywords: Free-range; backfat layers; intramuscular fat; Iberian pig; subcutaneous fat.
Online: 12 August 2020 (08:11:09 CEST)
Twenty-four extensively-reared Iberian pigs were used to study the influence of fattening period length (30, 60 or 90 days) on the fatty acid profiles of intramuscular and subcutaneous fat and the relationships between both profiles. Regarding fatty acid (FA) percentage, PUFA was greater in backfat and MUFA was greater in intramuscular fat (IMF), regardless fattening period length. The longer fattening period increased MUFA content in backfat (which had a more marked change in oleic acid) and decreased PUFA content in backfat and IMF, but it did not affect SFA content. Within the 3-layers subcutaneous backfat, SFA content was greater in the inner layer, MUFA was greater in the outer layer and PUFA was greater in both of these layers. The few differences in FA composition between both adipose tissues suggest that the changes due to the feeding regime are slow and, therefore, although the length of the fattening phase was increased, the fatty acid profile did not change substantially. The strong relationship between the FA profiles of IMF and backfat might be used to predict one profile from the other one when this latter was more readily available for sampling or analytical reasons.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0208.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: pig; behavior analysis; hourglass; stacked dense-net; K-mean sampler
Online: 19 January 2020 (04:40:15 CET)
Animal behavior analysis is a crucial tasks for the industrial farming. In an indoor farm setting, extracting Key joints of animal is essential for tracking the animal for longer period of time. In this paper, we proposed a deep network that exploit transfer learning to trained the network for the pig skeleton extraction in an end to end fashion. The backbone of the architecture is based on hourglass stacked dense-net. In order to train the network, key frames are selected from the test data using K-mean sampler. In total, 9 Keypoints are annotated that gives a brief detailed behavior analysis in the farm setting. Extensive experiments are conducted and the quantitative results show that the network has the potential of increasing the tracking performance by a substantial margin.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0189.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: hepcidin, iron deficiency anemia, iron dextran, neonatal period, pig, supplementation
Online: 9 October 2018 (15:34:13 CEST)
In pigs, iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most prevalent deficiency disorder during the early postnatal period frequently developing into a critical illness. Meanwhile, in humans, only low-birth-weight infants, including premature infants are especially susceptible to developing IDA. In both human and pig neonates, the initial cause of IDA is low birth iron stores. In piglets this shortage of stored iron results mainly from genetic selection over the past few decades for large litter size and high birth weight. In consequence, pregnant sows cannot provide sufficient amount of iron to the increasing number of developing fetuses. Supplementation with iron is a common practice for the treatment of IDA in piglets. For decades, the preferred procedure for delivering iron supplements during early life stages has been through the intramuscular injection of large amount of iron dextran. However, this relatively simple therapy, which in general, efficiently corrects IDA, may generate toxic effects, and by inducing hepcidin expression, may decrease bioavailability of supplemental iron. New iron supplements are considered now with the aim to combine improvement of hematological status, blunting hepcidin expression, and minimizing toxicity of the administered iron. We propose that iron-deficient piglets constitute a convenient animal model for performing pre-clinical studies with iron supplements.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0050.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: porcine circovirus; PCV2; domestic pig; wild boar; subtype; phylogenetics; MinION; Ukraine
Online: 7 April 2022 (03:03:31 CEST)
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is responsible for a number of porcine circovirus associated diseases (PCAD) that can severely impact domestic pig herds. For a non-enveloped virus with a small genome (1.7 kb ssDNA), PCV2 is remarkably diverse, with 8 subtypes (a-h). New subtypes of PCV2 can spread through migration of wild boars, which are thought to infect domestic pigs and spread further through the domestic pig trade. Despite a large swine population, the diversity of PCV2 subtypes in Ukraine has been undersampled, with few PCV2 genome sequences reported in the past decade. To gain a deeper understanding of PCV2 subtype diversity in Ukraine, samples of blood serum were collected from wild boars (n = 107) that were hunted in Ukraine during the November-December 2012 hunting season. We found 34/107 (31.8%) prevalence of PCV2 by diagnostic PCR. For domestic pigs, liver samples (n = 16) were collected from a commercial market near Kharkiv in 2019, of which 6/16 (37%) were positive for PCV2. We sequenced the genotyping locus ORF2, a gene encoding the PCV2 viral capsid (Cp), for 11 wild boar and 6 domestic pig samples in Ukraine using an Oxford Nanopore MinION device. Of 17 samples with resolved subtypes, PCV2 subtype b was most common in wild boar (10/11, 91%), while domestic pigs were infected with subtypes b and d. We also detected subtype b/d and b/a co-infections in wild boar and domestic pigs, respectively, and subtype f in a wild boar from Poltava for the first time in Ukraine. Building a maximum likelihood phylogeny, we identified a sublineage of PCV2 subtype b infections in both wild and domestic swine, suggesting a possible epizootic cluster and ecological interaction in northeastern Ukraine.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0235.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: guinea pig; rabbit; Versuchskaninchen; animals experiments; organ donation; biomedical experiments; altruism
Online: 12 October 2020 (12:09:32 CEST)
(1) Background: In the United Kingdom, Ireland, Iceland, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy a subject participating in a (bio) medical experiment is termed a guinea pig. In Germany (Versuchskaninchen), The Netherlands, all of Scandinavia, and most of Eastern Europe, the term rabbit is used for such a subject. We have searched for potential differences in attitudes towards biomedical research by inhabitants of the respective European countries by making an analysis of frequency and motivation to participate in biomedical experiments on both sides of the European rabbit borderline. (2) Methods: We have performed an analysis of the use of experimental animals for research in European countries as well as country specific scientific output in PubMed indexed literature. Attitudes towards biomedical research in European countries was derived from EU questionnaires. (3) Results: In biomedical experiments with animals, more guinea pigs are used in laboratories in “rabbit countries” than in “guinea pig countries”. Inhabitants of “rabbit countries” have a higher participation rate in biomedical experiments and donation of blood than people from “guinea pig” countries. The reasons to participate in a medical experiment are not purely altruistic, especially in “rabbit countries”. (4) Conclusions: inhabitants of European countries in which a person who participates in a biomedical experiment is labeled as an (experimental) rabbit participate more in biomedical experiments as well as tissue and organ donation. Motives to do so are not just altruistic, because financial reasons also play a role.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0747.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: African swine fever virus; virulence; pathology; wild boar; domestic pig; macroscopy; histopathology; immunology
Online: 31 July 2020 (13:01:32 CEST)
Endemically infected European wild boar are considered a major reservoir of African swine fever virus in Europe. While high lethality was observed in the majority of field cases, strains of moderate virulence occurred in the Baltic States. One of these, “Estonia 2014”, led to a higher number of clinically healthy, antibody-positive animals in the hunting bag of North-Eastern Estonia. Experimental characterization showed high virulence in wild boar but moderate virulence in domestic pigs. Putative pathogenic differences between wild boar and domestic pigs are unresolved and comparative pathological studies are limited. We here report on a kinetic experiment in both subspecies. Three animals each were euthanized at 4, 7 and 10 days post infection (dpi). Clinical data confirmed higher virulence in wild boar although macroscopy and viral genome load in blood and tissues were comparable in both subspecies. The percentage of viral antigen positive myeloid cells tested by flow cytometry did not differ significantly in most tissues. Only immunohistochemistry revealed consistently higher viral antigen loads in wild boar tissues in particular 7 dpi, whereas domestic pigs already eliminated the virus. The moderate virulence in domestic pigs could be explained by a more effective viral clearance.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0319.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: YOLOv4; Faster RCNN; Deep-SORT; pig posture detection; object tracking; greenhouse gas; animal welfare
Online: 21 October 2021 (23:06:30 CEST)
Pig behavior is an integral part of health and welfare management, as pigs usually reflect their inner emotions through behavior change. The livestock environment plays a key role in pigs' health and wellbeing. A poor farm environment increases the toxic GHGs, which might deteriorate pigs' health and welfare. In this study a computer-vision-based automatic monitoring and tracking model was proposed to detect short-term pigs' physical activities in a compromised environment. The ventilators of the livestock barn were closed for an hour, three times in a day (07:00-08:00, 13:00-14:00, and 20:00-21:00) to create a compromised environment, which increases the GHGs level significantly. The corresponding pig activities were observed before, during, and after an hour of the treatment. Two widely used object detection models (YOLOv4 and Fast-er R-CNN) were trained and compared their performances in terms of pig localization and posture detection. The YOLOv4, which outperformed the Faster R-CNN model, coupled with a Deep-SORT tracking algorithm to detect and track the pig activities. The results showed that the pigs became more inactive with the increase in GHG concentration, reducing their standing and walking activities. Moreover, the pigs also shortened their sternal-lying posture increasing the lateral lying posture duration at higher GHG concentration. The high detection accuracy (mAP: 98.67%) and tracking accuracy (MOTA: 93.86% and MOTP: 82.41%) signify the models’ efficacy in monitoring and tracking pigs' physical activities non-invasively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0379.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: heat stress; farm animal; pig; livestock; global warming; climate change; risk assessment; economic impact
Online: 15 December 2020 (12:35:35 CET)
In the last decades farm animals kept in confined and mechanically ventilated livestock buildings are increasingly confronted with heat stress (HS) due to global warming. These adverse conditions cause a depression of animal health and welfare and a reduction of the performance up to an increase of the mortality. To facilitate sound management decisions, livestock farmers need relevant arguments, which quantify the expected economic risk and the corresponding uncertainty. The economic risk was determined for the pig fattening sector based on the probability of HS and the calculated decrease in the gross margin. The model calculation for confined livestock buildings showed, that HS indices calculated by easily available meteorological parameters can be used for assessment quantification of indoor HS, which is so far difficult to determine. These weather-related HS indices can be applied not only for an economic risk assessment but also for a weather-index based insurance for livestock farms. Based on the temporal trend between 1981 and 2017, a simple model was derived to assess the likelihood of HS for 2020 and 2030. Due to global warming, the return period for a 90-percentile HS index is reduced from 10 years in 2020 to 3-4 years in 2030. The economic impact of HS on livestock farms was calculated by the relationship between an HS index based on the temperature-humidity index (THI) and the reduction of the gross margin. From the likelihood of the HS and this economic impact function, the probability of the economic risk could be determined. The reduction of the gross margin for a 10 year return period was determined for 1980 with 0.27 € per year and animal place and increased by the 20-fold to 5.13 € per year and animal place in 2030.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201802.0026.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Ophthalmology Keywords: pig eye perfusion model; pigmentary glaucoma; ocular hypertension; ocular hypotension; phagocytosis; rho-kinase inhibitor
Online: 5 February 2018 (03:39:57 CET)
Objective: The Rho GTPase/Rho kinase pathway is an important target in glaucoma treatment. This study investigated the hypotensive effect of RKI-1447, a Rho kinase inhibitor developed for cancer treatment, in a porcine ex vivo pigmentary glaucoma model. Materials and Methods: Twenty-eight fresh porcine anterior chambers were perfused with pigment medium (1.67 × 107 pigment particles/mL) for 48 hours before being subjected to the RKI-1447 (n = 16) or the vehicle control (n = 12). Another twelve eyes with normal medium perfusion served as the control. The intraocular pressure (IOP) was recorded at two-minute intervals and the outflow facility was calculated. To investigate the intracellular mechanism of the IOP reduction, primary trabecular meshwork cells were exposed to RKI-1447 or the vehicle control and then analyzed for changes in cytoskeleton, motility, and phagocytosis. Results: Compared to the baseline, the perfusion of pigment caused a significant increase in IOP in the RKI-1447 group (P = 0.003) at 48 hours. Subsequent treatment with RKI-1447 significantly reduced IOP from 20.14 ± 2.59 mmHg to 13.38 ± 0.91 mmHg (P = 0.02). Pigment perfusion reduced the outflow facility from 0.27 ± 0.03 at baseline to 0.18 ± 0.02 at 48 hours (P < 0.001). This was partially reversed with RKI-1447. RKI-1447 exhibited no apparent changes in the micro- or macroscopic appearance, including histology. Primary TM cells exposed to RKI-1447 showed a significant disruption of the actin cytoskeleton both in the presence and absence of pigment exposure (P < 0.001) but no effect on TM migration was observed. Pigment-treated TM cells exhibited a reduction in TM phagocytosis, which RKI reversed. Conclusions: RKI-1447 is a novel ROCK inhibitor that significantly reduces IOP by disrupting TM stress fibers and increasing TM phagocytosis. These features may make it especially useful for the treatment of secondary glaucomas with an increased phagocytosis load but also for other open angle glaucomas.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0466.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: farm animal; pig; livestock production; global warming; climate change; economic risk assessment; economic impact; resilience; livestock farming; adaptation
Online: 29 December 2021 (12:23:22 CET)
Economic risks for livestock production are caused by volatile commodities and market conditions, but also by environmental drivers like increasing uncertainties due to weather anomalies and global warming. These risks impact the gross margin of farmers and can stimulated investment decisions. For confined pig and poultry production, farmers can reduce the environmental impact by implementing specific adaptation measures to reduce heat stress. A simulation model driven by meteorological data was used to calculate heat stress impact as a projection for 2030. For a business-as-usual livestock building, the indoor climate for several adaptation measures was calculated. The weather-related value-at risk quantified the economic risks caused by global warming and the stochastic component of the weather. The results show that only energy-saving adaptation measures to reduce the inlet air temperature are appropriate to reduce the economic risk to the level of the year 1980. The efficiency of other adaptation measures to reduce heat stress is distinctly lower. The results in this study can support the decision making of farmers concerning adaptation management and investments. It can inform agricultural policy design as well as technological development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0377.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: pig genome; gamma/delta T-cell; TRG locus; TRG genes; gamma/delta high species; Cetartiodac-tyla; Immunogenomics; evolution
Online: 23 December 2021 (10:02:37 CET)
The domestic pig (Sus scrofa) is a species representative of the Suina, one of the four suborders within Cetartiodactyla. In this paper, we reported our analysis of the pig TRG locus in comparison with the loci of species representative of the Ruminantia, Tylopoda and Cetacea suborders. The pig TRG genomic structure reiterates the peculiarity of the organization of Cetartiodactyla loci in TRGC “cassettes”, each containing the basic V-J-J-C unit. Eighteen genes arranged in four TRGC cassettes, form the pig TRG locus. All the functional TRG genes were expressed, and the TRGV genes preferentially rearrange with the TRGJ genes within their own cassette, which correlates the diversity of the gamma-chain repertoire with the number of cassettes. Among them, the TRGC5, located at the 5’ end of the locus, is the only cassette that retains a marked homology with the corresponding TRGC cassettes of all the analyzed species. The preservation of the TRGC5 cassette for such a long evolutionary time presumes a highly specialized function of its genes, which could be essential for the survival of species. Therefore, the maintenance of this cassette in pigs confirms that it is the most evolutionarily ancient within Cetartiodactyla, and it has undergone a process of duplication to give rise to the other TRGC cassettes in the different artiodactyl species in a lineage-specific manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0265.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: Local Productive Systems; Meat Industries for the Transformation of the Iberian Pig; business processes; territorial processes; labour processes.
Online: 15 November 2021 (13:46:19 CET)
Local Productive Systems (hereinafter LPS) based on agro-food industries constitute alternative models of development in peripheral rural areas that are subject to internal and external dynamics and processes. The main objective of the research is to investigate the processes and their consequences on four SPLs based on the Iberian Pig Transformation Industry (hereinafter LPS-IPTI) in SW Spain: Fregenal de la Sierra, Higuera la Real, Cumbres Mayores and Jabugo. Using secondary data, a comparison is made between 2002 and 2020 to establish the changes, causes and consequences on the LPS-IPTI studied. The results obtained indicate (1) business and territorial concentration of LPS-IPTI; (2) productive and territorial specialisation in standardised products and quality products; (3) simplification of industrial processes; (4) loss of employment, especially female; (5) external control of companies in the sector which, accordingly, results in the loss of prominence of local actors in favour of foreign companies, reduced social capital and the progressive loss of ownership of the LPS.