Enteric methane emissions in response to ruminal inoculation of Propionibacterium strains in beef cattle fed a mixed diet.

Vyas, D., Alazzeh, A.Y., McGinn, S.M., McAllister, T.A., Harstad, O.M., Holo, H., and Beauchemin, K.A. (2016). "Enteric methane emissions in response to ruminal inoculation of Propionibacterium strains in beef cattle fed a mixed diet.", Animal Production Science, 56, pp. 1035-1040. doi : 10.1071/AN14801  Access to full text

Abstract

The objective of this study was to test the efficacy of Propionibacterium strains to mitigate enteric methane (CH4) emissions in beef heifers fed a mixed diet. An experiment was conducted with 16 ruminally cannulated beef heifers fed a basal diet consisting of 60 : 40 barley silage : barley grain (DM basis). Treatments included: (1) Control, (2) Propionibacterium freudenreichii T114, (3) P. thoenii T159, and (4) P. freudenreichii T54. Strains (1 × 1011 colony forming units) were administered daily directly into the rumen before feeding. No treatment effects were observed for DM intake (P = 0.90), mean ruminal pH (P = 0.50) and total volatile fatty acids (P = 0.44). However, compared with the Control, proportions of individual volatile fatty acids changed with acetate being less with Propionibacterium T159 (P = 0.02), whereas ruminal isobutyrate (P < 0.01) and acetate : propionate ratio (P = 0.04) were greater with Propionibacterium T114. Total daily enteric CH4 production averaged 188 g/day and was not affected by Propionbacterium strains (P = 0.51). Methane yield averaged 22 g/kg of DMI intake and tended to be greater with Propionibacterium strains (P = 0.08). The relative abundance of total Propionibacteria was greater with the inoculation of Propionibacterium T159 relative to the Control heifers (P = 0.04). In conclusion, inoculation of Propionibacterium T159 decreased ruminal acetate proportion and Propionibacterium T114 increased acetate : propionate ratio. However, inoculated strains failed to lower total CH4 emissions possibly due to the inability of Propionibacterium strains to elevate ruminal propionate concentrations.

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