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Rumen microbial profiling - a tool to investigate methane mitigation strategies
Reducing ruminant methane emissions is an important part of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. Development of methane mitigation strategies in ruminants need to consider the influence of diet, animal genetics and rumen microbiology, and the degree to which these can be manipulated while animal performance.
Molecular microbial profiling tools have been developed to investigate the overall rumen microbiota. These screening tools have been used in collaborative animal studies investigating dietary and genetic methane mitigation strategies in dairy cows, beef cattle and sheep.
Diet was shown to significantly alter rumen microbiota. In some cases dietary manipulation also resulted in successful methane mitigation, which correlated well with changes in rumen microbiota. In the absence of methane mitigation, diet related changes in rumen microbiota could be linked to animal performance traits such as milk fat composition and feed efficiency. Animal genetics was also found to alter rumen microbiota, however successful methane mitigation was dependant on diet.
This project has developed rapid highthroughput screening technologies which enable researchers to measure the effects of diverse methane mitigation strategies on rumen microbiota. These technologies can be further developed to provide information to producers on the effectiveness of on-farm methane mitigation strategies.
This page was last updated on 25/07/2017
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