Little is comprehensively known or understood about giant panda fecal and serum metabolites, which could serve as important indicators of the physiological metabolism of giant pandas. Therefore, we determined the contents of fecal and serum metabolites of giant pandas based on an untargeted metabolome. Four hundred and 955 metabolites were detected in the feces and serum of giant panda, respectively. Glycerophospholipid and choline metabolism were the main metabolic pathways in feces and serum. A significant correlation between the gut microbiota and fecal metabolites was found (P < 0.01). Fecal metabolites were not greatly affected by the age or gender of giant pandas, but serum metabolites were significantly affected by age and gender. The majority of different metabolites caused by age were higher in serum of younger giant pandas, including fatty acids, lipids, metabolites of bile acids, and intermediate products of vitamin D3. The majority of different metabolites caused by gender included fatty acids, phosphatidylcholine (PC), phosphatidylserine (PS), and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). A separate feeding diet should be considered according to different ages and genders of giant panda. Therefore, our results could provide helpful suggestions to further protect captive giant pandas.
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Vol. 38 • No. 2