Evaluating the effect of phenolic compounds as hydrogen acceptors when ruminal methanogenesis is inhibited in vitro – Part 2. Dairy goats

Pedro Romero, Rongcai Huang, Elisabeth Jiménez, JMPH Palma-Hidalgo, Emilio M Ungerfeld, Milka Popova, Diego P. Morgavi, Alejandro Belanche, David R. Yáñez-Ruíz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


Most mitigation strategies to reduce enteric methane (CH4) production in the rumen induce an excess of rumen dihydrogen (H2) that is expelled and consequently not redirected to the synthesis of metabolites that can be utilised by the ruminant. We hypothesised that phenolic compounds can be potential H2 acceptors when added to the diet, as they can be degraded to compounds that may be beneficial for the animal, using part of the H2 available when ruminal methanogenesis is inhibited. We performed four in vitro incubation experiments using rumen inoculum from Murciano-Granadina adult goats: Experiment 1 examined the inhibitory potential of Asparagopsis taxiformis (AT) at different concentrations (0, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5% of the substrate on a DM basis) in 24 h incubations; Experiment 2 investigated the effect of a wide range of phenolic compounds (phenol, catechol, resorcinol, hydroquinone, pyrogallol, phloroglucinol, gallic acid and formic acid) at different doses (0, 2, 4, and 6 mM) on rumen fermentation for 24 h; Experiment 3 evaluated the combined effect of each phenolic compound at 6 mM with AT at 2% DM in sequential batch cultures for 5 days; and Experiment 4 examined the dose–response effect of phloroglucinol at different concentrations (0, 6, 16, 26 and 36 mM) combined with AT in sequential batch cultures for 5 days. Results from Experiment 1 confirmed that AT at 2% DM substantially inhibited CH4 production while significantly increasing H2 accumulation and decreasing the acetate:propionate ratio. Results from Experiment 2 showed that phenolic compounds did not negatively affect rumen fermentation at any dose. In Experiment 3, each phenolic compound at 6 mM combined with AT at 2% DM inhibited CH4 production. Phloroglucinol numerically decreased H2 accumulation and significantly increased total gas production (TGP), volatile fatty acid (VFA) production and the acetate:propionate ratio. In Experiment 4, phloroglucinol at increasing doses supplemented with AT at 2% DM significantly decreased H2 accumulation and the abundances of archaea, protozoa and fungi abundances, and increased TGP, total VFA production and the acetate:propionate ratio in a dose-dependent way. In conclusion, combined treatment with AT and phloroglucinol was successful to mitigate CH4 production while preventing the accumulation of H2, leading to an increase in acetate and total VFA production and therefore an improvement in rumen fermentation in goats.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100789
Issue number5
Early online date21 Apr 2023
Publication statusPrint publication - May 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Rumen microbiota
  • Dihydrogen accumulation
  • Rumen fermentation
  • Phloroglucinol
  • Methane inhibitor
  • Rumen/metabolism
  • Diet/veterinary
  • Phloroglucinol/metabolism
  • Phenols/pharmacology
  • Fermentation
  • Acetates
  • Propionates/pharmacology
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile/metabolism
  • Animal Feed/analysis
  • Methane/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Goats/metabolism
  • Hydrogen/metabolism


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