Asparagopsis taxiformis decreases enteric methane production from sheepXixi Li A F , Hayley C. Norman A , Robert D. Kinley B , Michael Laurence C , Matt Wilmot A , Hannah Bender C , Rocky de Nys D and Nigel Tomkins B E
A CSIRO Agriculture, Centre for Environment and Life Sciences, Floreat, WA 6014, Australia.
B CSIRO Agriculture, Australian Tropical Sciences and Innovation Precinct James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
C College of Veterinary Medicine, Murdoch University, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia.
D MACRO, The Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology, College of Marine and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Qld 4811, Australia.
E Meat and Livestock Australia, 527 Gregory Terrace, Fortitude Valley, Qld 4006, Australia.
F Corresponding author. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Animal Production Science - https://doi.org/10.1071/AN15883
Submitted: 20 December 2015 Accepted: 2 August 2016 Published online: 28 September 2016
Asparagopsis taxiformis concentrates halogenated compounds that are known to inhibit cobamide-dependent methanogenesis in vitro and, therefore, has potential to mitigate enteric methane production. The present study investigated the effect of Asparagopsis on methane (CH4) production from sheep offered a high-fibre pelleted diet (offered at 1.2 × maintenance) at five inclusion levels of Asparagopsis for 72 days (0% (control), 0.5%, 1%, 2% and 3% organic matter basis as offered). Individual animal CH4 measurements were conducted at 21-day intervals using open-circuit respiration chambers. Asparagopsis inclusion resulted in a consistent and dose-dependent reduction in enteric CH4 production over time, with up to 80% CH4 mitigation at the 3% offered rate compared with the group fed no Asparagopsis (P < 0.05). Sheep fed Asparagopsis had a significantly lower concentration of total volatile fatty acids and acetate, but a higher propionate concentration. No changes in liveweight gain were identified. Supplementing Asparagopsis in a high-fibre diet (<2% organic matter) resulted in significant and persistent decreases in enteric methanogenesis over a 72-day period. Granulomatous and keratotic ruminal mucosa changes were identified in several sheep with Asparagopsis supplementation. While the outcomes of the present study may be extrapolated to feedlot to achieve the antimethanogenic effect associated with Asparagopsis, further work is required to define the long-term effects on productivity and animal health.
Additional keywords: halogenated compounds, macroalgae, methanogenesis, ruminal fermentation.
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