Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Journal of Animal Behaviour and Biometeorology
Review Article Open Access

Factors affecting mitigation of methane emission from ruminants: Microbiology and biotechnology strategies

Afshar Mirzaei-Aghsaghali and Naser Maheri-Sis

Downloads: 1
Views: 329


Climate change is a subject of global environmental concern. Increased anthropogenic Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions have increased the global temperature the last 100 to 200 years. Carbon dioxide and methane are the main greenhouse gases related to animal nutrition and methane has greater global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Among greenhouse gases, methane is considered a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide. Worldwide, ruminant livestock produce about 80 million metric tons of methane each year, accounting for about 28% of global emissions from human related activities. Therefore it is impelling animal scientists to finding solutions to mitigate methane emission from ruminants. It seems that solutions can be discussed in four topics including: nutrition (feeding), biotechnology, microbiology and management strategies. We have already published the first and second review articles on feeding strategies and management strategies. In the current review, Microbiology and biotechnology such as emphasizing on animal breeding, genetic merit, bovine somatotropin (BST), unproductive animals, vaccination, immunisation and biological control (bacteriophage, acetogenesis reductive), chemical defaunation that can be leads to decreasing methane production from ruminant animal production are discussed.


enteric fermentation, greenhouse gases, methane, nutrition, ruminant


Alford DP, Compton P, Samet JH (2006) Acute pain management for patients receiving maintenance methadone or buprenorphine therapy. Annals of Internal Medicine 144:127-134.

Attwood G, McSweeney C (2008) Methanogen genomics to discover targets for methane mitigation technologies and options for alternative H2 utilisation in the rumen. Animal Production Science 48:28-37.

Baker S (1999) Rumen methanogens, and inhibition of methanogenesis. Crop and Pasture Science 50:1293-1298.

Clark H, Pinares-Patiño CS, de Klein CAM (2005) Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grasslands In: McGilloway DA (ed) Grassland: A Global Resource. Wageningen Academic, Wageningen, the Netherlands, pp 279-293.

Coleman G (1986) The distribution of carboxymethylcellulase between fractions taken from the rumens of sheep containing no protozoa or one of five different protozoal populations. The Journal of Agricultural Science 106:121-127.

Cook S, Maiti P, Chaves A, Benchaar C, Beauchemin K, McAllister T (2008) Avian (IgY) anti-methanogen antibodies for reducing ruminal methane production: in vitro assessment of their effects. Animal Production Science 48:260-264.

Czerkawski J, Christie W, Breckenridge G, Hunter ML (1975) Changes in the rumen metabolism of sheep given increasing amounts of linseed oil in their diet. British Journal of Nutrition 34:25-44.

Eckard R, Grainger C, De Klein C (2010) Options for the abatement of methane and nitrous oxide from ruminant production: a review. Livestock Science 130:47-56.

Finlay BJ, Esteban G, Clarke KJ, Williams AG, Embley TM, Hirt RP (1994) Some rumen ciliates have endosymbiotic methanogens FEMS. Microbiology Letters 117:157-161.

Gworgwor Z, Mbahi T, Yakubu B (2006) Environmental Implications of Methane Production by Ruminants: A review. Journal of Sustainable Development in Agriculture and Environment 2:1-14.

Hegarty R (1999) Reducing rumen methane emissions through elimination of rumen protozoa. Crop and Pasture Science 50:1321-1328.

Hegarty R, Goopy J, Herd R, McCorkell B (2007) Cattle selected for lower residual feed intake have reduced daily methane production. Journal of Animal Science 85:1479-1486.

Hoffmann I (2008) Livestock genetic diversity and climate change adaptation Livestock and Global Climate Change.

Hook SE, Wright A-DG, McBride BW (2010) Methanogens: methane producers of the rumen and mitigation strategies Archaea doi:10.1155/2010/945785

Iwaasa AD (2007) Strategies to recuce greenhouse gas emissions through feeding and grazing management. In: 19th Annual Conference of the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association, Saskatoon, SK, Canada. p 97-104.

Johnson KA, Johnson DE (1995) Methane emissions from cattle. Journal of Animal Science 73:2483-2492.

Kirchgessner M, Windisch W, Müller H, Engelhardt Wv, Leonhard-Marek S, Breves G, Giesecke D (1995) Nutritional factors for the quantification of methane production. In: Ruminant physiology: digestion, metabolism, growth and reproduction. Proceedings 8th International Symposium on Ruminant Physiology. Delmar Publishers, p 333-348.

Klieve AV, Hegarty R (1999) Opportunities for biological control of methanogenesis. In: Meeting the Kyoto target: implications for the Australian livestock industries. Bureau of Rural Sciences, p 63-69.

Kung L, Smith K, Smagala A, Endres K, Bessett C, Ranjit N, Yaissle J (2003) Effects of 9, 10 anthraquinone on ruminal fermentation, total-tract digestion, and blood metabolite concentrations in sheep. Journal of animal science 81:323-328.

Le Van TD, Robinson JA, Ralph J, Greening RC, Smolenski WJ, Leedle JA, Schaefer DM (1998) Assessment of reductive acetogenesis with indigenous ruminal bacterium populations and Acetitomaculum ruminis. Applied and environmental microbiology 64:3429-3436.

Lopez S, McIntosh F, Wallace R, Newbold C (1999) Effect of adding acetogenic bacteria on methane production by mixed rumen microorganisms. Animal Feed Science and Technology 78:1-9.

Lu CD, Jorgensen NA (1987) Alfalfa saponins affect site and extent of nutrient digestion in ruminants. The Journal of Nutrition 117:919-927.

Martin C, Doreau M, Morgavi D, Champanelle F (2008) Methane mitigation in ruminants: from rumen microbes to the animal. In: Livestock and global climate change. Proceedings of the International Conference on Livestock and Global Climate Change. p 130-133.

Mathison G, Okine E, McAllister T, Dong Y, Galbraith J, Dmytruk O (1998) Reducing methane emissions from ruminant animals. Journal of Applied Animal Research 14:1-28.

McAllister T, Newbold CJ (2008a) Redirecting rumen fermentation to reduce methanogenesis. Animal Production Science 48:7-13.

McAllister TA, Newbold CJ (2008b) Redirecting rumen fermentation to reduce methanogenesis. Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture doi:10.1071/EA07218

McCrabb G, Berger K, Magner T, May C, Hunter R (1997) Inhibiting methane production in Brahman cattle by dietary supplementation with a novel compound and the effects on growth. Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 48:323-329.

Mirzaei-Aghsaghali A, Maheri-Sis N (2011) Factors affecting mitigation of methane emission from ruminants I: Feeding strategies. Asian J Anim Vet Adv 6:888-908.

Mirzaei-Aghsaghali A, Maheri-Sis N, Siadati SA, Jalilnejad N (2015) Factors Affecting Mitigation of Methane Emission from Ruminants: Management Strategies. Ecologia Balkanica 7:171-190.

Morgavi D, Jouany JP, Martin C (2008) Changes in methane emission and rumen fermentation parameters induced by refaunation in sheep. Animal Production Science 48:69-72.

Moss AR, Jouany J-P, Newbold J (2000) Methane production by ruminants: its contribution to global warming. In: Annales de zootechnie. EDP Sciences, p 231-253.

Münger A, Kreuzer M (2008) Absence of persistent methane emission differences in three breeds of dairy cows. Animal Production Science 48:77-82.

Newbold C, Lassalas B, Jouany J (1995a) The importance of methanogens associated with ciliate protozoa in ruminal methane production in vitro. Letters in applied microbiology 21:230-234.

Newbold C, Wallace R, Chen X, McIntosh F (1995b) Different strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae differ in their effects on ruminal bacterial numbers in vitro and in sheep. Journal of animal science 73:1811-1818.

Pilajun R, Wanapat M (2011) Effect of coconut oil and mangosteen peel supplementation on ruminal fermentation, microbial population, and microbial protein synthesis in swamp buffaloes. Livestock Science 141:148-154.

Pinares-Patiño C, Ulyatt M, Lassey K, Barry T, Holmes CW (2003) Rumen function and digestion parameters associated with differences between sheep in methane emissions when fed chaffed lucerne hay. The Journal of Agricultural Science 140:205-214.

Robertson L, Waghorn G (2002) Dairy industry perspectives o methane emissions and production from cattle fed pasture or total mixed rations in New Zealand. In: Proceedings - New Zealand Society Of Animal Production. New Zealand Society of Animal Production; 2002, pp 213-218.

Sejian V, Rotz A, Lakritz J, Ezeji T, Lal R (2011) Modeling of greenhouse gas emissions in dairy farms. Journal of Animal Science Advances 1:12-20.

Smuts M, Meissner H, Cronje P (1995) Retention time of digesta in the rumen: its repeatability and relationship with wool production of Merino rams. Journal of Animal Science 73:206-210.

Trapnell L, Malcolm B  (2006) Economic Analysis of Changing from a 300 Day Lactation to an Extended Lactation Dairy System. In: Proceedings of the Biennial Conference of the Australasian Farm Business Management Network, September 2006, Marcus Oldham College, 8p.

Ulyatt M, Lassey K (2001) Methane emissions from pastoral systems: the situation in New Zealand. Archivos Latinoamericanos del Produccion Animal 9:118-126.

Ulyatt M, McCrabb G, Baker S, Lassey K (1999) Accuracy of SF6 tracer technology and alternatives for field measurements. Crop and Pasture Science 50:1329-1334.

Ushida K, Miyazaki A, Kawashima R (1986) Effect of defaunation on ruminal gas and VFA production in vitro. Japanese Journal of Zootechnical Science 57:7.

Waghorn G, Clark D (2004) Feeding value of pastures for ruminants. New Zealand Veterinary Journal 52:320-331.

Waghorn G, Woodward S (2006) Ruminant Contributions to Methane and Global Warming - A New Zealand Perspective. Climate Change and Managed Ecosystems, p 233.

Waghorn G, Woodward S, Clark D (2004) Accuracy of intake measurements for cows grazing grass/legume pastures using the alkane marker technique. In: J Dairy Sci. Amer Dairy Science Assoc 1111 N Dunlap Ave, Savoy, IL 61874 USA, pp 292-292.

Waghorn GC, Woodward SL, Tavendale M, Clark DA (2006) Inconsistencies in rumen methane production - effects of forage composition and animal genotype. International Congress Series 1293:115-118.

Wallace R, McPherson CA (1987) Factors affecting the rate of breakdown of bacterial protein in rumen fluid. British Journal of Nutrition 58:313-323.

Williams YJ, Popovski S, Rea SM, Skillman LC, Toovey AF, Northwood KS, Wright A-DG (2009) A vaccine against rumen methanogens can alter the composition of archaeal populations. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75:1860-1866.

Wright A et al. (2004a) Reducing methane emissions in sheep by immunization against rumen methanogens. Vaccine 22:3976-3985.

Wright ADG et al. (2004b) Reducing methane emission in sheep by immunization against rumen methanogens. Vaccine 22:3976-3985.

Yurtseven S, Cetin M, Ozturk I, Can A, Boga M, Sahin T, Turkoglu H (2009) Effect of different feeding method on methane and carbon dioxide emissions, milk yield and composition of lactating Awassi sheep. Asian J Anim Vet Adv 4:278-287.

Yurtseven S, Ozturk I (2009) Influence of two sources of cereals (corn or barley), in free choice feeding on diet selection, milk production indices and gaseous products (CH4 and CO2) in lactating sheep. Asian J Anim Vet Adv 4:76-85.

Submitted date:

Accepted date:

5f931be50e8825bf04485d92 jabbnet Articles
Links & Downloads

J Anim Behav Biometeorol

Share this page
Page Sections