Nitrate and sulfate: Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep

Provimi Holding BV, Research Centre De Viersprong, Veilingweg 23, NL-5334LD, Velddriel, the Netherlands.
Journal of Dairy Science (Impact Factor: 2.57). 12/2010; 93(12):5856-66. DOI: 10.3168/jds.2010-3281
Source: PubMed


Twenty male crossbred Texel lambs were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design experiment to assess the effect of dietary addition of nitrate (2.6% of dry matter) and sulfate (2.6% of dry matter) on enteric methane emissions, rumen volatile fatty acid concentrations, rumen microbial composition, and the occurrence of methemoglobinemia. Lambs were gradually introduced to nitrate and sulfate in a corn silage-based diet over a period of 4 wk, and methane production was subsequently determined in respiration chambers. Diets were given at 95% of the lowest ad libitum intake observed within one block in the week before methane yield was measured to ensure equal feed intake of animals between treatments. All diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous. Methane production decreased with both supplements (nitrate: -32%, sulfate: -16%, and nitrate+sulfate: -47% relative to control). The decrease in methane production due to nitrate feeding was most pronounced in the period immediately after feeding, whereas the decrease in methane yield due to sulfate feeding was observed during the entire day. Methane-suppressing effects of nitrate and sulfate were independent and additive. The highest methemoglobin value observed in the blood of the nitrate-fed animals was 7% of hemoglobin. When nitrate was fed in combination with sulfate, methemoglobin remained below the detection limit of 2% of hemoglobin. Dietary nitrate decreased heat production (-7%), whereas supplementation with sulfate increased heat production (+3%). Feeding nitrate or sulfate had no effects on volatile fatty acid concentrations in rumen fluid samples taken 24h after feeding, except for the molar proportion of branched-chain volatile fatty acids, which was higher when sulfate was fed and lower when nitrate was fed, but not different when both products were included in the diet. The total number of rumen bacteria increased as a result of sulfate inclusion in the diet. The number of methanogens was reduced when nitrate was fed. Enhanced levels of sulfate in the diet increased the number of sulfate-reducing bacteria. The number of protozoa was not affected by nitrate or sulfate addition. Supplementation of a diet with nitrate and sulfate is an effective means for mitigating enteric methane emissions from sheep.

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    • "Inorganic electron acceptors Nitrate , sulfate , arsenate Herbel et al . ( 2002 ) , Van Zijderveld et al . ( 2010 ) Hydroxyaromatic compounds Phloroglucinol Tsai and Jones ( 1975 ) , Patel et al . ( 1981 ) Flavonoids Rutin , quercitin , naringin , hesperidin Simpson et al . ( 1969 ) Plant toxins Allyl cyanide Duncan and Milne ( 1992 ) Fluoroacetate Camboim et al . ( 2012 ) Mimosine Jones and Megarrity ( 1986 ) Allison et al . ( 1992 ) Nitro - 1 - p"
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    • "To a lesser degree, PUFA can reduce H 2 availability in the rumen by consuming H 2 during bio­ hydrogenation (Czerkawski, 1986). Nitrate modifies H 2 consumption by reducing the number of methano­ gens (Van Zijderveld et al., 2010) and by acting as a H 2 sink (Lewis, 1951). As these dietary treatments share different mecha­ nisms of action, we hypothesized that their combina­ tion would have an additive effect that leads to less net methanogenesis than when they are individually fed. "
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    • "Fumarate increased total VFA concentration, which might be attributed to conversion of fumarate to propionate , which has been noted in several studies (Bayaru et al., 2001; Beauchemin and McGinn, 2006; Zhou et al., 2012) However, McGinn et al. (2004) fed 10.6 g/kg of DM intake of fumaric acid to cattle (approximately 15 mM) and reported no effect on total VFA concentration, propionate proportions , or methane emissions. Corroborating with this study, higher concentrations of total VFA concentrations in nitrate treatments (Nolan et al., 2010; Van Zijderveld et al., 2010) were also noted in other studies. Tree leaves-containing diets had greater degradability than the grass-based diet, and the effect was more pronounced for high R:C (i.e. "
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