Impact of high-concentrate feeding and low ruminal pH on methanogens and protozoa in the rumen of dairy cows.
ABSTRACT Non-lactating dairy cattle were transitioned to a high-concentrate diet to investigate the effect of ruminal pH suppression, commonly found in dairy cattle, on the density, diversity, and community structure of rumen methanogens, as well as the density of rumen protozoa. Four ruminally cannulated cows were fed a hay diet and transitioned to a 65% grain and 35% hay diet. The cattle were maintained on an high-concentrate diet for 3 weeks before the transition back to an hay diet, which was fed for an additional 3 weeks. Rumen fluid and solids and fecal samples were obtained prior to feeding during weeks 0 (hay), 1, and 3 (high-concentrate), and 4 and 6 (hay). Subacute ruminal acidosis was induced during week 1. During week 3 of the experiment, there was a significant increase in the number of protozoa present in the rumen fluid (P=0.049) and rumen solids (P=0.004), and a significant reduction in protozoa in the rumen fluid in week 6 (P=0.003). No significant effect of diet on density of rumen methanogens was found in any samples, as determined by real-time PCR. Clone libraries were constructed for weeks 0, 3, and 6, and the methanogen diversity of week 3 was found to differ from week 6. Week 3 was also found to have a significantly altered methanogen community structure, compared to the other weeks. Twenty-two unique 16S rRNA phylotypes were identified, three of which were found only during high-concentrate feeding, three were found during both phases of hay feeding, and seven were found in all three clone libraries. The genus Methanobrevibacter comprised 99% of the clones present. The rumen fluid at weeks 0, 3, and 6 of all the animals was found to contain a type A protozoal population. Ultimately, high-concentrate feeding did not significantly affect the density of rumen methanogens, but did alter methanogen diversity and community structure, as well as protozoal density within the rumen of nonlactating dairy cattle. Therefore, it may be necessary to monitor the rumen methanogen and protozoal communities of dairy cattle susceptible to depressed pH when methane abatement strategies are being investigated.
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ABSTRACT: AimsAcidification with concentrated H2SO4 is a novel strategy to reduce NH3 emissions from livestock slurry. It was recently found that also CH4 emissions from acidified slurry are reduced. This study investigated the microbiological basis and temporal stability of these effects.Methods and ResultsPig slurry from two farms, acidified by different techniques, and untreated slurry were stored for 83 d in a pilot-scale facility. Methanogens were characterized before and after storage by T-RFLP and qPCR targeting mcrA. Emissions of NH3 and CH4 during storage were quantified. Acidified slurry pH was nearly constant at values of 5.5 and 6.5. Ammonia losses were reduced by 84 and 49%, respectively, while CH4 emission with both acidification techniques was reduced by >90%. T-RFLP fingerprints showed little effect of acidification or storage time. A major T-RF of 105 bp could represent methanogens related to Thermoplasmata (Tp). No treatment effects on gene copy numbers were seen with universal methanogen primers, whereas effects were found with Tp-specific primers.Conclusion Methane emissions were reduced >90% during storage. Thermoplasmata-related methanogens could be involved in CH4 emissions from pig slurry.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe effect of acidification on CH4 emissions during storage of pig slurry was quantified for the first time. Acidification with sulfuric acid holds promise as a novel greenhouse gas mitigation strategy for confined livestock production.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.Journal of Applied Microbiology 03/2014; · 2.20 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The novel archaea belonging to Rumen Cluster C (RCC), which may play an important role in methane production in the rumen have received increased attention. However, the present information on RCC in the rumen is limited by the unsuccessful isolation of axenic pure RCC from the rumen. In the present study, RCC grown in anaerobic fungal subcultures was identified by the molecular and culture methods. A novel RCC species existing in the fungal subcultures was identified and demonstrated by the 16S rRNA gene clone library. Interestingly, the novel RCC species survived in the fungal cultures over all the subculture transferring, even in the 62nd subculture, in contrast to the other methanogens, which disappeared during subcultures. Further work showed that subculture transfer frequency significantly affected the relative abundance of the novel RCC species in the fungal subcultures. The five-day and seven-day transfer frequencies increased the relative abundance of the RCC species (P<0.05). In addition, quantitative real-time PCR revealed that high concentrate diets did not affect the abundance of archaea, but numerically reduced the abundance of the novel RCC species in the rumen. In addition, the relative abundance of the RCC species was numerically higher in the rumen liquid fraction than in the rumen epithelium and solid fractions. Finally, a purified fungal culture containing the RCC species was successfully obtained. PCR and sequencing analysis showed that the novel RCC species contained a mcrA gene, which is known to play a crucial role in methanogenesis, and thus could be identified as a methanogen. In this study, a novel RCC species was identified as a methanogen and closely associated with anaerobic fungi. This novel approach by using co-culture with anaerobic fungi may provide a feasible way to culture and investigate not yet identified methanogens.BMC Microbiology 04/2014; 14(1):104. · 3.10 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objective of the current study was to determine the effects of adding 3-nitrooxypropanol to the diet of lactating Holstein cows on methane emissions, rumen fermentation, ruminal microbial profile, and milk production. Twelve ruminally cannulated Holstein cows in midlactation were used in a crossover design study with 28-d periods. Cows were fed a diet containing 38% forage on a dry matter basis with either 2,500 mg/d of 3-nitrooxypropanol (fed as 25 g of 10% 3-nitrooxypropanol on silicon dioxide) or 25 g/d of silicon dioxide (control). After a 21-d diet adaptation period, dry matter intake (DMI) and milk yield were recorded daily. Rumen fluid and digesta were collected on d 22 and 28 for volatile fatty acid analysis and microbial profiling. Enteric methane emissions were measured on d 23 to 27 using the sulfur hexafluoride tracer gas technique. Feeding 3-nitrooxypropanol did not affect DMI; however, methane production was reduced from 17.8 to 7.18 g/kg of DMI. No change in milk or milk component yields was observed, but cows fed 3-nitrooxypropanol gained more body weight than control cows (1.06 vs. 0.39 kg/d). Concentrations of total volatile fatty acids in ruminal fluid were not affected by treatment, but a reduction in acetate proportion and a tendency for an increase in propionate proportion was noted. As such, a reduction in the acetate-to-propionate ratio was observed (2.02 vs. 2.36). Protozoa counts were not affected by treatment; however, a reduction in methanogen copy count number was observed when 3-nitrooxypropanol was fed (0.95 vs. 2.69 × 108/g of rumen digesta). The data showed that feeding 3-nitrooxypropanol to lactating dairy cows at 2,500 mg/d can reduce methane emissions without compromising DMI or milk production.Journal of Dairy Science 01/2014; · 2.57 Impact Factor