New insights in methane reducing plants

15-08-2007 | |
New insights in methane reducing plants

Researchers from the University of León in Spain teamed up with their colleagues from the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland to investigate the potential of numerous plant species as antimethanogenic feed additives for ruminants.

The study involved a screening experiment to evaluate the potential of 450
plant species as antimethanogenic additives in ruminant feeds. Effects of
addition of these plants, which were incorporated to the fermentation substrate
as a dry powder, on ruminal fermentation, fibre digestion and methane production
were studied in vitro in batch cultures of mixed rumen microorganisms.

Serum bottles containing 500 mg of substrate
(500 g alfalfa hay/kg, 400 g grass hay/kg and
100 g barley grain), 50 mg of the plant additive tested and 50 ml
of buffered rumen fluid (10 ml sheep rumen fluid + 40 ml
culture medium) were incubated at 39°C for 24 h. After incubation, gas and
methane production, pH and volatile fatty acid (VFA) concentration in the
incubation medium and dry matter and neutral detergent fibre disappearance were

Six potential plants
Of the 450 samples tested, 35
decreased methane production by more than 15% versus those with corresponding
control cultures and, with 6 of these plant additives, the depression in methane
production was more than 25%, with no adverse effects on digestibility, total
gas and VFA production. With these six samples, incubations were repeated to
confirm their effects on methane production in vitro. Some candidates, in
particular Rheum
and Carduus pycnocephalus , consistently
decreased methane production without adversely affecting other parameters of the
rumen fermentation.

This paper will be published in the journal Animal Feed Science and Technology.

Related news
Methane emissions cut by feeding garlic (July 20, 2007)

Related folder:
Dossier AllAbout Plant Extracts

University of León
Rowett Research

Join 26,000+ subscribers

Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated about all the need-to-know content in the feed sector, three times a week.
Contributors Global Feed Sector Authors
More about