Ruminal Methane Emission and Fermentation: Diet–Host–Microbiome Interplay

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Animal Physiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2024) | Viewed by 8635

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Nutrition, West Bengal University, Kolkata, India
Interests: ruminant nutrition; rumen microbiology; poultry nutrition; nutritional modeling and meta-analysis; livestock and environment; gut barrier function; phytochemicals; heavy metal toxicity
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Guest Editor
Department of Animal Nutrition, Poznan University of Life Sciences, Wolyńska 33, 60-637 Poznan, Poland
Interests: ruminant nutrition; rumen microbiology; microbiology in environmental protection; quality of ruminant products
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The ruminal ecosystem is considered one of the most dynamic, complex and diverse ecosystems comprising several types of specialized and generalized microorganisms. This complex ecosystem has evolved due to the diverse nature of ruminants’ diets. Ruminal microbiome and microbial metabolome act synergistically to ferment the feeds for obtaining the metabolic needs of the microbiota and in turn supply most of the dietary requirements to the host ruminants. However, this fermentation process also results in some wasteful and undesirable products. One such wasteful product is methane production, which is responsible for a substantial contribution to greenhouse gas emissions from food production systems. Further, ruminal fermentation is not always efficient in terms of formation of useful products, including volatile fatty acids and microbial protein synthesis. Different dietary and host genetic factors influence the microbiome structures and metabolome production, which translate to wasteful or useful product formation. A better understanding of the dietary and host factors influencing the ruminal microbiome and metabolome could be beneficial to efficiently optimize the fermentation pathways.

We invite original research and review papers that address ruminal fermentation and methane production affected by different dietary, host, and environmental factors, including the interaction with ruminal microbiome and metabolome. Additional topics may include modulation of fermentation for efficient ruminant production and mitigation of methane emission in ruminants.

Dr. Amlan Kumar Patra
Dr. Adam Cieślak
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • methane
  • fermentation
  • rumen
  • microbiota
  • metabolome
  • diet
  • host genetics
  • feed additive
  • plant bioactive
  • antimethanogenic compound

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 718 KiB  
Article
Variability in Enteric Methane Emissions among Dairy Cows during Lactation
by Ali Hardan, Philip C. Garnsworthy and Matt J. Bell
Animals 2023, 13(1), 157; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010157 - 31 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1723
Abstract
The aim of this study was to investigate variability in enteric CH4 emission rate and emissions per unit of milk across lactations among dairy cows on commercial farms in the UK. A total of 105,701 CH4 spot measurements were obtained from [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to investigate variability in enteric CH4 emission rate and emissions per unit of milk across lactations among dairy cows on commercial farms in the UK. A total of 105,701 CH4 spot measurements were obtained from 2206 mostly Holstein-Friesian cows on 18 dairy farms using robotic milking stations. Eleven farms fed a partial mixed ration (PMR) and 7 farms fed a PMR with grazing. Methane concentrations (ppm) were measured using an infrared CH4 analyser at 1s intervals in breath samples taken during milking. Signal processing was used to detect CH4 eructation peaks, with maximum peak amplitude being used to derive CH4 emission rate (g/min) during each milking. A multiple-experiment meta-analysis model was used to assess effects of farm, week of lactation, parity, diet, and dry matter intake (DMI) on average CH4 emissions (expressed in g/min and g/kg milk) per individual cow. Estimated mean enteric CH4 emissions across the 18 farms was 0.38 (s.e. 0.01) g/min, ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 g/min, and 25.6 (s.e. 0.5) g/kg milk, ranging from 15 to 42 g/kg milk. Estimated dry matter intake was positively correlated with emission rate, which was higher in grazing cows, and negatively correlated with emissions per kg milk and was most significant in PMR-fed cows. Mean CH4 emission rate increased over the first 9 weeks of lactation and then was steady until week 70. Older cows were associated with lower emissions per minute and per kg milk. Rank correlation for CH4 emissions among weeks of lactation was generally high. We conclude that CH4 emissions appear to change across and within lactations, but ranking of a herd remains consistent, which is useful for obtaining CH4 spot measurements. Full article
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15 pages, 685 KiB  
Article
Impact of Moringa oleifera Leaves on Nutrient Utilization, Enteric Methane Emissions, and Performance of Goat Kids
by Vandana Kumari Leitanthem, Parul Chaudhary, Sanjit Maiti, Madhu Mohini and Goutam Mondal
Animals 2023, 13(1), 97; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani13010097 - 27 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2878
Abstract
The development of different innovative feed resources for livestock is important to provide the essential nutrients and diminish the emission of greenhouse gases. The purpose of the present experiment was to study the response of replacing concentrate with Moringa oleifera leaves in terms [...] Read more.
The development of different innovative feed resources for livestock is important to provide the essential nutrients and diminish the emission of greenhouse gases. The purpose of the present experiment was to study the response of replacing concentrate with Moringa oleifera leaves in terms of the nutrient intake, digestibility, enteric methane emissions, and performance of goat kids with a berseem-fodder-based diet under different roughage (R)-to-concentrate (C) ratios. Twenty-four goat kids (3 months of age) were distributed into four groups of six animals each, using a randomized block design (RBD). Kids of Group I (control) were fed a basal diet with 70R:30C without any tree leaf supplementation. Group II kids were fed with 60R:40C, where 10% of the concentrate mix was replaced with Moringa leaf (ML powder). In Group III, kids were fed with 70R:30C with 20% ML replacement. In Group IV, kids were fed with 80R:20C with 20% ML replacement. A metabolic trial was conducted after 180 days of feeding to assess the impact of ML on blood metabolites, antioxidant status, immunity parameters, and enteric methane emissions. The results revealed that dry matter digestibility, organic matter, and NDF were better (p < 0.05) in ML-treated kids (GII and GIII) compared to GI. Feed conversion and average daily gain were also enhanced (p < 0.05) in the treated groups as compared to controls. Total blood protein and albumin were increased in GII and GIII kids compared to GI. Plasma cholesterol levels were decreased (p < 0.001) in GII, GIII, and GIV as compared to GI. Glutathione peroxidase, catalase, and superoxide dismutase enzyme activities were also enhanced in GII, GIII, and GIV compared to controls. ML supplementation improved cell-mediated immunity and humoral immunity responses in goat kids. Enteric methane emissions decreased in the treated groups as compared to the controls. Moringa oleifera leaf may be used up to the level of 10–20% in concentrate mixes to improve digestibility, blood biochemical parameters, immunity status, and antioxidant activity in goat kids. Supplementation of ML not only enhanced the digestion and health of goat kids, but also decreased their methane emissions. Full article
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18 pages, 1835 KiB  
Article
Rumen Microbiome Reveals the Differential Response of CO2 and CH4 Emissions of Yaks to Feeding Regimes on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
by Qian Zhang, Tongqing Guo, Xungang Wang, Xiaoling Zhang, Yuanyue Geng, Hongjin Liu, Tianwei Xu, Linyong Hu, Na Zhao and Shixiao Xu
Animals 2022, 12(21), 2991; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12212991 - 30 Oct 2022
Viewed by 1652
Abstract
Shifts in feeding regimes are important factors affecting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock farming. However, the quantitative values and associated drivers of GHG emissions from yaks (Bos grunniens) following shifts in feeding regimes have yet to be fully described. In [...] Read more.
Shifts in feeding regimes are important factors affecting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from livestock farming. However, the quantitative values and associated drivers of GHG emissions from yaks (Bos grunniens) following shifts in feeding regimes have yet to be fully described. In this study, we aimed to investigate CH4 and CO2 emissions differences of yaks under different feeding regimes and their potential microbial mechanisms. Using static breathing chamber and Picarro G2508 gas concentration analyzer, we measured the CO2 and CH4 emissions from yaks under traditional grazing (TG) and warm-grazing and cold-indoor feeding (WGCF) regimes. Microbial inventories from the ruminal fluid of the yaks were determined via Illumina 16S rRNA and ITS sequencing. Results showed that implementing the TG regime in yaks decreased their CO2 and CH4 emissions compared to the WGCF regime. The alpha diversity of ruminal archaeal community was higher in the TG regime than in the WGCF regime. The beta diversity showed that significant differences in the rumen microbial composition of the TG regime and the WGCF regime. Changes in the rumen microbiota of the yaks were driven by differences in dietary nutritional parameters. The relative abundances of the phyla Neocallimastigomycota and Euryarchaeota and the functional genera Prevotella, Ruminococcus, Orpinomyces, and Methanobrevibacter were significantly higher in the WGCF regime than in the TG regime. CO2 and CH4 emissions from yaks differed mainly because of the enrichment relationship of functional H2- and CO2-producing microorganisms, hydrogen-consuming microbiota, and hydrogenotrophic methanogenic microbiota. Our results provided a view that it is ecologically important to develop GHG emissions reduction strategies for yaks on the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau based on traditional grazing regime. Full article
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20 pages, 339 KiB  
Article
Effects of Dietary Inclusion of Sericea Lespedeza Hay on Feed Intake, Digestion, Nutrient Utilization, Growth Performance, and Ruminal Fermentation and Methane Emission of Alpine Doelings and Katahdin Ewe Lambs
by Wei Wang, Amlan Kumar Patra, Ryszard Puchala, Luana Ribeiro, Terry Allen Gipson and Arthur Louis Goetsch
Animals 2022, 12(16), 2064; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12162064 - 13 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
Twenty-four Alpine doelings, initial 25.3 ± 0.55 kg body weight (BW) and 10.4 ± 0.11 mo of age, and 24 Katahdin ewe lambs, 28.3 ± 1.02 kg BW and 9.6 ± 0.04 mo of age, were used to determine effects of dietary inclusion [...] Read more.
Twenty-four Alpine doelings, initial 25.3 ± 0.55 kg body weight (BW) and 10.4 ± 0.11 mo of age, and 24 Katahdin ewe lambs, 28.3 ± 1.02 kg BW and 9.6 ± 0.04 mo of age, were used to determine effects of dietary inclusion of Sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata) hay on feed intake, digestion, growth performance, energy metabolism, and ruminal fermentation and methane emission. There were four periods, the first three 42 days in length and the fourth 47 days. Diets consumed ad libitum contained 75% coarsely ground hay with alfalfa (ALF), a 1:1 mixture of ALF and LES (ALF+LES), and LES (10.0% condensed tannins; CT). The intake of dry matter (DM) tended to be greater (p = 0.063) for Katahdin than for Alpine (4.14 vs. 3.84% BW; SEM = 0.110). The dry matter intake was similar among the diets (3.97, 4.10, and 3.89% BW for ALF, ALF+LES, and LES, respectively; SEM = 0.134). The digestion of organic matter (75.3, 69.3, and 65.5%; SEM = 0.86), neutral detergent fiber (61.7, 50.5, and 41.4%; SEM = 1.49), and nitrogen (78.8, 66.9, and 50.8% for ALF, ALF+LES, and LES, respectively; SEM = 0.92) decreased as the dietary concentration of lespedeza increased (p < 0.05). However, there was an interaction (p < 0.05) between the breed and diet in nitrogen digestion, with a greater value for goats vs. sheep with LES (54.4 vs. 47.3%; SEM = 1.30). The digested nitrogen intake decreased markedly with the increasing quantity of lespedeza (38.0, 27.5, and 15.7 g/day for ALF, ALF+LES, and LES, respectively; SEM = 1.26). The average daily gain was greater for Katahdin than for Alpine (p < 0.001; 180 vs. 88 g, SEM = 5.0) and ranked (p < 0.05) ALF > ALF+LES > LES (159, 132, and 111 g, respectively; SEM = 6.1). The ruminal methane emission differed (p < 0.05) between animal types in MJ/day (1.17 and 1.44), kJ/g DM intake (1.39 and 1.23), and kJ/g ADG (18.1 and 9.8 for Alpine and Katahdin, respectively). Regardless of the period and animal type, diet did not impact methane emission in MJ/day or relative to DM intake, BW, or ADG (p > 0.05). The digestible and metabolizable energy intakes, heat production, and retained energy were not affected by diet (p > 0.05). In conclusion, future research should consider the marked potential effect of CT of forages such as lespedeza on nitrogen digestion and associated effects on protein status and other conditions that may be impacted. Full article
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