Ruminal Microbiota, Fermentation Process, Enteric Methane Emissions, and Animal Performance

A special issue of Ruminants (ISSN 2673-933X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2024 | Viewed by 13058

Special Issue Editors


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Departamento de Producción Vegetal y Proyectos de Ingeniería, Escuela Politécnica Superior de Ingeniería, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, 27002 Lugo, Spain
Interests: ruminant nutrition; feed additives; plant secondary metabolites; dairy production; enteric methane emissions; rumen fermentation; nutrient digestibilities; volatile fatty acids; microbial protein synthesis; ruminal microbiota
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Guest Editor
Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Daphne Jackson Road, Guildford GU2 7AL, Surrey, UK
Interests: veterinary sciences; animal nutrition; metabolism; physiology; lactation performance; adipogenesis; stem cells; cell metabolism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to a Special Issue of Ruminants entitled ‘Ruminal Microbiota, Fermentation Process, Enteric Methane Emissions, and Animal Performance’.

The Special Issue aims to provide knowledge about the influence of ruminal microbiota on the fermentation process, enteric methane emissions, and animal performance from ruminants. This will help us to understand how the use of feed additives and/or plant secondary metabolites in ruminant diets may be an interesting feeding strategy to modify the rumen function of animals by altering nutrient digestion pathways, changing the ruminal fermentation process, inhibiting methanogenesis, modulating microbial populations, adjusting the biohydrogenation of fatty acids, and reducing the risk of metabolic diseases, thus improving ruminant productivity and health.

In this Special Issue, original research articles and reviewers are welcome. Research areas may include (but are not limited to) the following topics: in vivo studies on different species of ruminants (such as cows, sheep, goats, buffalos, etc.) and in vitro studies using continuous culture fermentor systems (such as RUSITEC and non-RUSITEC systems) in which different feed additives are being tested (such as ionophores, prebiotics, probiotics, enzymes, essential oils, vitamin, and mineral packs) and/or different plant secondary metabolites are researched (such as phenolics/polyphenolics, terpenes/terpenoids, sulphur-containing compounds, and nitrogen-containing compounds) on animal performance, ruminal microbiota, rumen fermentation, enteric methane emissions, nutrient digestibilities, volatile fatty acids, and microbial protein synthesis. It will allow us to enhance the feed efficiency and sustainability of animal production systems worldwide.

We look forward to receiving your valuable contributions to this Special Issue.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Animals.

Dr. Ana Isabel Roca-Fernández
Dr. Magdalena Arévalo-Turrubiarte
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Ruminants is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • ruminant nutrition
  • feed additives
  • plant secondary metabolites
  • ruminal microbiota
  • enteric methane emissions
  • rumen fermentation
  • nutrient digestibility
  • volatile fatty acids production
  • microbial protein synthesis
  • animal performance

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

9 pages, 266 KiB  
Communication
Chemical Composition and In Vitro Nutritive Evaluation of Pomegranate and Artichoke Fractions as Ruminant Feed
by Trinidad de Evan, Carlos N. Marcos and María Dolores Carro
Ruminants 2024, 4(1), 1-9; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants4010001 - 2 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1674
Abstract
The aim of this work was to assess the chemical composition and in vitro ruminal fermentation of samples (n = 3) of pomegranate (peels (PPs) and seeds (PSs)) and artichoke (hearts (AHs) and stems (ASs)) wastes. Dried orange pulp (DOP) and tomato pomace [...] Read more.
The aim of this work was to assess the chemical composition and in vitro ruminal fermentation of samples (n = 3) of pomegranate (peels (PPs) and seeds (PSs)) and artichoke (hearts (AHs) and stems (ASs)) wastes. Dried orange pulp (DOP) and tomato pomace (TP) were used as reference feeds. All wastes had low dry matter (DM; lower than 33.0 and 12.0% for pomegranate and artichoke, respectively). The DM of pomegranate fractions was rich in sugars (>42.0%) and contained low protein (<8.0%) and neutral detergent fiber (NDF; <27.0%), whereas that of both artichoke fractions had high protein (>18.0%) and NDF (>36.0%) and low sugars content (<9.2%). Pomegranate seeds were more rapidly and extensively fermented in vitro than PPs, but both were less degradable and contained less metabolizable energy (ME) than DOP (7.43, 11.0 and 12.5 MJ ME/kg DM, respectively). Although AHs were more rapidly fermented and produced more volatile fatty acids (VFAs) than ASs, both had lower ME content than TP (9.50, 7.25 and 12.5 MJ ME/kg DM). The analyzed wastes had lower ME content than other by-products, but they were extensively fermented by ruminal microorganisms and could be used as ruminant feeds. Full article
12 pages, 1280 KiB  
Article
Effect of Tannin Inclusion on the Enhancement of Rumen Undegradable Protein of Different Protein Sources
by Kalista E. Loregian, David A. B. Pereira, Fernanda Rigon, Elaine Magnani, Marcos I. Marcondes, Eduardo A. Baumel, Renata H. Branco, Pedro Del Bianco Benedeti and Eduardo M. Paula
Ruminants 2023, 3(4), 413-424; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3040034 - 10 Nov 2023
Viewed by 765
Abstract
Tannins can be utilized to increase rumen undegradable protein (RUP) by their capacity to form complexes with diverse nutrients present in the feed. In that regard, high-performance ruminants demand elevated RUP levels. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of [...] Read more.
Tannins can be utilized to increase rumen undegradable protein (RUP) by their capacity to form complexes with diverse nutrients present in the feed. In that regard, high-performance ruminants demand elevated RUP levels. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of incorporating varying levels of tannin into three protein sources (cottonseed, peanut, and soybean meals) on ruminal kinetic parameters, ruminal fermentation, and intestinal digestibility. Thus, three in situ experiments were conducted to investigate the ruminal degradation kinetics, where Fraction A represents the soluble portion, Fraction B relates to the portion potentially degraded in the rumen, and kd denotes the degradation rate of Fraction B, for both dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) in the rumen. Additionally, the study assessed dry matter effective degradability (ED), rumen undegradable protein (RUP), and intestinal digestibility (ID). These experiments utilized three cannulated animals for the in situ incubations. Regarding cottonseed meal in terms of DM degradation kinetics, tannin inclusion had a quadratic effect on fraction A (p < 0.01), B (p = 0.10, trend), kd (p = 0.03), and ED (p < 0.01). Fraction A of CP had a cubic effect (p = 0.03), being greater for the control compared with the other treatments. The inclusion of tannin linearly increased RUP (p < 0.01). The RUP proportion increased 29, 33, and 45% when 20, 40, and 60 g/kg tannin were used, respectively, compared to the control. For peanut meal, the A fraction of protein and RUP responded quadratically as tannin was included in peanut meal (p < 0.01). However, tannin levels did not affect fraction B of protein and ID. Regarding soybean meal, fractions A and B of DM and ED had cubic effects (p < 0.01), being greater for the control compared with the other treatments, and responded quadratically as tannin increased. Also, tannin inclusion had a cubic effect on fractions A and B of protein, RUP, and ID (p < 0.01). The cubic behavior showed greater B fraction and ID and lower A fraction and RUP for the control compared other treatments (p < 0.01). Tannins offer a promising avenue for elevating RUP levels in diets featuring cottonseed and peanut meals. Nevertheless, no advantages were observed when treating soybean meal with tannin. Full article
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12 pages, 279 KiB  
Article
Essential Oil Blends with or without Fumaric Acid Influenced In Vitro Rumen Fermentation, Greenhouse Gas Emission, and Volatile Fatty Acids Production of a Total Mixed Ration
by Joel O. Alabi, Deborah O. Okedoyin, Chika C. Anotaenwere, Michael Wuaku, DeAndrea Gray, Oludotun O. Adelusi, Kelechi A. Ike, Lydia K. Olagunju, Peter A. Dele and Uchenna Y. Anele
Ruminants 2023, 3(4), 373-384; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3040031 - 8 Nov 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
The growing interest in improving rumen fermentation and mitigating methane emissions necessitates the use of essential oil blends (EOB) and fumaric acid (FA). This study evaluated the synergistic effect of four EOB with or without FA supplementation on in vitro dry matter digestibility, [...] Read more.
The growing interest in improving rumen fermentation and mitigating methane emissions necessitates the use of essential oil blends (EOB) and fumaric acid (FA). This study evaluated the synergistic effect of four EOB with or without FA supplementation on in vitro dry matter digestibility, greenhouse gas emission, and total volatile fatty acid production using inoculum from three rumen-cannulated Black Angus beef cows. The study was arranged in a 4 × 2 + 1 factorial design to evaluate the effects of the four EOB and two FA levels on a total mixed ration (TMR). The EOB dosage was 100 µL while FA was added at 3% of total mixed ration. The EOB × FA interaction (p < 0.05) influenced the dry matter, neutral detergent fiber, and hemicellulose degradabilities. All the EOB and FA (EFA) treatments decreased (p < 0.001) the dry matter degradability compared to the control (TMR substrate only). The EFA4 treatment reduced the neutral detergent fiber and hemicellulose degradabilities compared to the control. The ruminal pH was influenced (p < 0.001) by both the EOB and FA inclusion, and the EOB × FA interaction was significant. The microbial mass was higher (p < 0.001) in the EFA1, EFA4, and EOB4 compared to the control and the EOB3 treatments. The EFA1 and EOB1 produced less (p < 0.001) gas than the control by 29.1 and 32.1%, respectively. Compared with the control, the EFA1 and EOB1 treatments decreased (p < 0.001) methane gas by 90.8% and 86.4%, respectively, while the carbon dioxide was reduced (p = 0.004) by 65.7 and 57.9%, respectively. The EOB × FA interaction was significant (p < 0.001) for the total and individual volatile fatty acid concentrations. The inclusion of FA increased the propionate concentration by 9.5% and decreased (p = 0.02) the acetate concentration by 4%. In summary, the synergistic effect of the EOB and FA offers an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emission and enhance total volatile fatty acids. Full article
23 pages, 1843 KiB  
Article
Characterization of an Acidogenic Bacterial Consortium as Probiotic and Its Effect on Rumen Fermentation In Vitro and In Vivo
by Carolina Robles-Rodríguez, Diego Cardoso-Carmona, Laura González-Dávalos, Carlos Lozano-Flores, Allan Páez-Trejo, Armando Shimada and Ofelia Mora
Ruminants 2023, 3(4), 324-346; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3040028 - 16 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote host health through microbiota balance and immune modulation. We assessed an acidogenic bacterial consortium (ABC) with promising probiotic properties, focusing on its resilience during transit through the digestive tract in ruminants and determining its optimal in vitro [...] Read more.
Probiotics are live microorganisms that promote host health through microbiota balance and immune modulation. We assessed an acidogenic bacterial consortium (ABC) with promising probiotic properties, focusing on its resilience during transit through the digestive tract in ruminants and determining its optimal in vitro dosage. The ABC exhibited antibiotic resistance, thrived at pH levels between 5 and 7 for 24 and 48 h, and showed a 77% survival rate in artificial gastric juice. Moreover, it not only endured bile salt exposure but also multiplied. The ABC exhibited 10.74% of coaggregation capabilities against E. coli. Optimal dosage determination revealed that 4 × 108 was the ideal concentration, as higher doses did not yield significant differences in dry matter digestion. In the in vivo trial with Limousin Heifers, the ABC led to enhanced total volatile fatty acid (VFA) production, increased daily weight gains, and improved feed conversion rates compared to the control group. These findings underscore the potential of the ABC as a probiotic to boost animal productivity and overall health. Full article
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9 pages, 651 KiB  
Article
Effect of Vegetable Oils or Glycerol on the In Vitro Ruminal Production of Greenhouse Gases
by Cynthia Sofía Castañeda-Rodríguez, Gerardo Antonio Pámanes-Carrasco, Jesús Bernardo Páez-Lerma, Esperanza Herrera-Torres, Elia Esther Araiza-Rosales, Vicente Hernández-Vargas, Hiram Medrano-Roldán and Damián Reyes-Jáquez
Ruminants 2023, 3(2), 140-148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3020013 - 23 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1170
Abstract
The objective of this research was to evaluate the ruminal fermentation parameters and in vitro Greenhouse gas (GHG) production derived from the fermentation of a balanced sheep diet with the addition of vegetable oils (canola, corn, safflower, and sunflower) or glycerol at different [...] Read more.
The objective of this research was to evaluate the ruminal fermentation parameters and in vitro Greenhouse gas (GHG) production derived from the fermentation of a balanced sheep diet with the addition of vegetable oils (canola, corn, safflower, and sunflower) or glycerol at different proportions (0, 20, and 40 g/kg of dry matter, DM). The fermentations showed that the highest Gmax was obtained with the addition of 40 g/kg of sunflower oil and 20 g/kg of glycerol with values of 180.97 and 179.95 mL/g DM, respectively. The treatment with 40 g/kg DM of corn oil showed the lowest values in CH4 production (7.15 mL/g DM when compared to the control) and it seemed to be a potential feeding strategy for reducing GHG emissions without affecting gas production. However, the N-NH3 content for this treatment in both doses (1.90 and 1.88 mg/dL) indicated that some toxicity for the animal could be expected. Full article
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12 pages, 317 KiB  
Article
Cactus Pear Silage to Mitigate the Effects of an Intermittent Water Supply for Feedlot Lambs: Intake, Digestibility, Water Balance and Growth Performance
by Ismael de Sousa Nobre, Gherman Garcia Leal de Araújo, Edson Mauro Santos, Gleidson Giordano Pinto de Carvalho, Italo Reneu Rosas de Albuquerque, Juliana Silva de Oliveira, Ossival Lolato Ribeiro, Silvia Helena Nogueira Turco, Glayciane Costa Gois, Thieres George Freire da Silva, Alexandre Fernandes Perazzo, Anderson de Moura Zanine, Daniele de Jesus Ferreira, Francisco Naysson de Sousa Santos and Fleming Sena Campos
Ruminants 2023, 3(2), 121-132; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3020011 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1729
Abstract
The aim of this study was to evaluate the intake, digestibility, water balance and growth performance of lambs receiving diets containing cactus silage under an intermittent water supply. Thirty-six male, uncastrated Santa Inês lambs with an initial weight of 19.8 ± 2.1 kg [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the intake, digestibility, water balance and growth performance of lambs receiving diets containing cactus silage under an intermittent water supply. Thirty-six male, uncastrated Santa Inês lambs with an initial weight of 19.8 ± 2.1 kg and age of 6 months were distributed in a 3 × 3 factorial arrangement, with three proportions of cactus pear in the diets (0 (control diet containing Tifton hay), 21% and 42% of dry matter) and three periods of intermittent water supply (0, 24 and 48 h), with four repetitions. Lambs that received diets non-isonitrogenous with cactus silage showed higher intakes of dry matter (p < 0.001), total digestible nutrients (p < 0.001), water excretion via faeces (p < 0.001) and water balance (p < 0.001). Lambs that received diets with cactus silage showed higher digestibility of total carbohydrates, non-fibre carbohydrates (p = 0.005), water intake via food (p < 0.001), total water intake (p < 0.001), water excretion via urine (p < 0.001) and water balance (p < 0.05), when compared to the control diet. Lambs that received diets with cactus silage promoted growth performance (p = 0.001). When using 42% forage cactus silage in place of Tifton hay and water offered at 48 h intervals, intake, digestibility, and performance of feedlot lambs were improved. Full article
11 pages, 675 KiB  
Article
Can Associative Effects Affect In Vitro Digestibility Estimates Using Artificial Fermenters?
by Larissa Frota Camacho, Tadeu Eder da Silva, Marcia de Oliveira Franco and Edenio Detmann
Ruminants 2023, 3(2), 100-110; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3020009 - 1 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1139
Abstract
We aimed to test the associative effects among forages, and between forage and concentrates on the in vitro digestibility of dry matter and neutral detergent fibre using an artificial ruminal fermentation system. The study consisted of two assays, in which associative effects were [...] Read more.
We aimed to test the associative effects among forages, and between forage and concentrates on the in vitro digestibility of dry matter and neutral detergent fibre using an artificial ruminal fermentation system. The study consisted of two assays, in which associative effects were evaluated among three forages, sugarcane, maize silage, and Tifton 85 hay under two incubation conditions (single feed or all feeds together in a jar), and the associative effects between sugarcane and soybean meal and/or ground maize. For the first assay, sugarcane digestibility increased (p < 0.02), whereas the maize silage digestibility decreased (p < 0.01) when forages were incubated together in the same jar. Tifton hay digestibility was not altered (p ≥ 0.57) by the incubation condition. In the second assay, the sugarcane digestibility was depressed (p < 0.05) when the forage was incubated along with maize grain. For both assays, the pattern of repeatability for digestibility estimates presented an influence of the incubation condition. We concluded that the incubation of different feeds together in the same jar using artificial fermenters causes associative effects among them. These effects can influence the estimates of in vitro dry matter and fibre digestibility and alter their repeatability. Full article
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8 pages, 399 KiB  
Article
Effects of Cashew Nut Shell Extract on Ruminal Fermentation and Nutrient Digestibility under Continuous Culture
by Chandler Compton, Omar M. Peña, Chie Hikita, Tomonori Watanabe, Thomas C. Jenkins, Gustavo J. Lascano and Matias J. Aguerre
Ruminants 2023, 3(1), 92-99; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3010008 - 22 Mar 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1824
Abstract
The overall objective of this study was to determine the dose response to four levels of cashew nut shell extract in a granulated form (CNSE, containing 59% anacardic acid and 18% cardol) on culture pH, rumen fermentation metabolites, and apparent nutrient digestibility in [...] Read more.
The overall objective of this study was to determine the dose response to four levels of cashew nut shell extract in a granulated form (CNSE, containing 59% anacardic acid and 18% cardol) on culture pH, rumen fermentation metabolites, and apparent nutrient digestibility in continuous culture fermenters. The study was conducted as a generalized randomized complete block design with four treatments and four replications per treatment. The four treatments were randomly assigned to eight fermenters for two incubation runs of 10 d. Treatments consisted of (1) Control (CO, no CNSE), (2) Control plus 100 ppm of CNSE, (3) Control plus 200 ppm of CNSE, and (4) Control plus 300 ppm of CNSE. Fermenters were fed 52 g/d (DM basis) of a total mixed ration (TMR; 17.0% crude protein (CP), 29.7% NDF, and 29.9% starch), divided between two feedings at 0800 and 2000 h. The apparent digestibility of dry matter (DM), organic matter (OM), and neutral detergent fiber (NDF) were not affected by CNSE supplementation. Similarly, CNSE had no effect on culture pH, total volatile fatty acids (VFA) or individual VFA molar proportions. These results suggest that at the dosages evaluated in this study, CNSE has no impact on the rumen fermentation profile and the apparent nutrient digestibility under continuous culture conditions. Full article
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16 pages, 3131 KiB  
Article
The Lipidome of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Lactating Holstein Cows
by Qianming Jiang and Juan J. Loor
Ruminants 2023, 3(1), 76-91; https://doi.org/10.3390/ruminants3010007 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1416
Abstract
The lipidome is a key determinant of structural and functional characteristics of tissues, contributing to optimal gut function and efficiency of nutrient use in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Our objective was to study lipidomic profiles in different sections of the GIT in lactating [...] Read more.
The lipidome is a key determinant of structural and functional characteristics of tissues, contributing to optimal gut function and efficiency of nutrient use in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Our objective was to study lipidomic profiles in different sections of the GIT in lactating dairy cows and to link them with biological functions. We studied the lipid species in ruminal papillae and epithelium from duodenum, jejunum, and ileum harvested after slaughter from five lactating Holstein cows. Extracted lipids were identified by LC/MS/MS and analyzed via Lipidsearch, Metaboanalyst 5.0, and lipid ontology (LION). Of 1259 lipid species identified across the GIT, 387, 565, 193, and 86 were neutral lipids, phospholipids, sphingolipids, and derivatized lipids, respectively. Among the 1223 lipid species common to the GIT, a PLS-DA analysis revealed similar profiles for jejunum and ileum and discriminated them from rumen and duodenum. The content of 12 out of 28 lipid classes differed (p < 0.05) among GIT sections. The average fatty acid chain length in lipid species spanned from 9 to 37 carbons, and the average degree of unsaturation ranged from 0 to 6. The term ‘membrane component’ from LION analysis differed markedly between the rumen and the small intestine. Future studies will help better understand what factors (function or cellular component) in a given section of the GIT are related to the different lipid species. This is the first description of the lipidome profiles across sections of the GIT in lactating dairy cows. The unique lipidome profiles uncovered distinct structural and functional properties across the bovine GIT, which may impact the efficiency of nutrient use. Full article
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