Dietary supplemental plant oils reduce methanogenesis from anaerobic microbial fermentation in the rumen

Vargas, J.E., Andrés, S., López-Ferreras, L., Snelling, T.J., Yáñez-Ruíz, D.R., García-Estrada, C. and López, S. (2020) Dietary supplemental plant oils reduce methanogenesis from anaerobic microbial fermentation in the rumen. Scientific Reports, 10 (1).

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Ruminants contribute to the emissions of greenhouse gases, in particular methane, due to the microbial anaerobic fermentation of feed in the rumen. The rumen simulation technique was used to investigate the effects of the addition of different supplemental plant oils to a high concentrate diet on ruminal fermentation and microbial community composition. The control (CTR) diet was a high-concentrate total mixed ration with no supplemental oil. The other experimental diets were supplemented with olive (OLV), sunflower (SFL) or linseed (LNS) oils at 6%. Rumen digesta was used to inoculate the fermenters, and four fermentation units were used per treatment. Fermentation end-products, extent of feed degradation and composition of the microbial community (qPCR) in digesta were determined. Compared with the CTR diet, the addition of plant oils had no significant (P > 0.05) effect on ruminal pH, substrate degradation, total volatile fatty acids or microbial protein synthesis. Gas production from the fermentation of starch or cellulose were decreased by oil supplementation. Methane production was reduced by 21–28% (P < 0.001), propionate production was increased (P < 0.01), and butyrate and ammonia outputs and the acetate to propionate ratio were decreased (P < 0.001) with oil-supplemented diets. Addition of 6% OLV and LNS reduced (P < 0.05) copy numbers of total bacteria relative to the control. In conclusion, the supplementation of ruminant diets with plant oils, in particular from sunflower or linseed, causes some favorable effects on the fermentation processes. The addition of vegetable oils to ruminant mixed rations will reduce methane production increasing the formation of propionic acid without affecting the digestion of feed in the rumen. Adding vegetable fats to ruminant diets seems to be a suitable approach to decrease methane emissions, a relevant cleaner effect that may contribute to alleviate the environmental impact of ruminant production.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Animal Production, Welfare and Veterinary Sciences (to 31.07.20)
Depositing User: Ms Kath Osborn
Date Deposited: 20 Feb 2020 10:04
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2020 10:04

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