Animal Production Science Animal Production Science Society
Food, fibre and pharmaceuticals from animals
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Effects of Tithonia diversifolia on in vitro methane production and ruminal fermentation characteristics

S. A. Terry A , R. S. Ribeiro B , D. S. Freitas B , G. D. Delarota B , L. G. R. Pereira C , T. R. Tomich C , R. M. Maurício B and A. V. Chaves A D
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A The University of Sydney, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

B Universidade Federal de São João del-Rei, Bioengineering Department, São João del-Rei, MG Brazil.

C Embrapa Gado de Leite, Juiz de Fora, Brazil.

D Corresponding author. Email: alex.chaves@sydney.edu.au

Animal Production Science 56(3) 437-441 https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15560
Submitted: 10 September 2015  Accepted: 27 September 2015   Published: 9 February 2016

Abstract

The present study examined the effects of Tithonia diversifolia on in vitro methane (CH4) production and ruminal fermentation characteristics. The experiment was conducted as a completely randomised design (CRD) using a control (0% T. diversifolia) and three treatment groups with different concentrations (6.9%, 15.2%, 29.2%) of T. diversifolia, which replaced up to 15.2% and 14% dry matter (DM) of fresh sugarcane and concentrates, respectively. Ruminal fluid was obtained from two ruminally cannulated non-lactating Holstein × Zebu heifers maintained on a diet consisting of T. diversifolia, fresh sugarcane and 4 kg of concentrates. The inclusion of T. diversifolia had no effect (P ≥ 0.15) on cumulative gas production (mL, mL/g incubated DM, mL/g digested DM) or in vitro DM disappearance (%). Carbon dioxide (%, mL, mL/g incubated DM) linearly decreased (P ≤ 0.001) and CH4 (%, mL, mL/g incubated DM) quadratically increased (P ≤ 0.01) with increasing concentrations of T. diversifolia replacing fresh sugarcane and concentrates. The total volatile fatty acids (mM) and acetate (A) proportion of total volatile fatty acids (mmol/100 mmol) linearly increased (P < 0.01) with the increasing inclusion of T. diversifolia. Butyrate (mmol/100 mmol) increased quadratically (P ≤ 0.02), while propionate (P; mmol/100 mmol) decreased quadratically (P < 0.02). The A : P ratio increased linearly (P < 0.0001) with increasing amounts of T. diversifolia in the diet. These results indicated that increasing the amount of Tithonia diversifolia in the substrate DM increased the A : P ratio, which resulted in a six-fold increase of CH4 production when fresh sugarcane and concentrates were replaced at up to 15.2% and 14% (DM basis), respectively.

Additional keywords: dairy cow, shrub, supplementation, volatile fatty acids.


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