Nitrate and sulfate: Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep

S. M. van Zijderveld*, W. J.J. Gerrits, J. A. Apajalahti, J. R. Newbold, J. Dijkstra, R. A. Leng, H. B. Perdok

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

159 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Twenty male crossbred Texel lambs were used in a 2 × 2 factorial design experiment to assess the effect of dietary addition of nitrate (2.6% of dry matter) and sulfate (2.6% of dry matter) on enteric methane emissions, rumen volatile fatty acid concentrations, rumen microbial composition, and the occurrence of methemoglobinemia. Lambs were gradually introduced to nitrate and sulfate in a corn silage-based diet over a period of 4 wk, and methane production was subsequently determined in respiration chambers. Diets were given at 95% of the lowest ad libitum intake observed within one block in the week before methane yield was measured to ensure equal feed intake of animals between treatments. All diets were formulated to be isonitrogenous. Methane production decreased with both supplements (nitrate: -32%, sulfate: -16%, and nitrate. +. sulfate: -47% relative to control). The decrease in methane production due to nitrate feeding was most pronounced in the period immediately after feeding, whereas the decrease in methane yield due to sulfate feeding was observed during the entire day. Methane-suppressing effects of nitrate and sulfate were independent and additive. The highest methemoglobin value observed in the blood of the nitrate-fed animals was 7% of hemoglobin. When nitrate was fed in combination with sulfate, methemoglobin remained below the detection limit of 2% of hemoglobin. Dietary nitrate decreased heat production (-7%), whereas supplementation with sulfate increased heat production (+3%). Feeding nitrate or sulfate had no effects on volatile fatty acid concentrations in rumen fluid samples taken 24. h after feeding, except for the molar proportion of branched-chain volatile fatty acids, which was higher when sulfate was fed and lower when nitrate was fed, but not different when both products were included in the diet. The total number of rumen bacteria increased as a result of sulfate inclusion in the diet. The number of methanogens was reduced when nitrate was fed. Enhanced levels of sulfate in the diet increased the number of sulfate-reducing bacteria. The number of protozoa was not affected by nitrate or sulfate addition. Supplementation of a diet with nitrate and sulfate is an effective means for mitigating enteric methane emissions from sheep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5856-5866
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Dairy Science
Volume93
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Methane
methane production
Nitrates
Sulfates
hydrogen
Hydrogen
Sheep
sulfates
nitrates
sheep
methane
Diet
Rumen
diet
Volatile Fatty Acids
volatile fatty acids
Methemoglobin
Thermogenesis
heat production
rumen

Keywords

  • Hydrogen sink
  • Methane
  • Nitrate
  • Sheep
  • Sulfate

Cite this

van Zijderveld, S. M., Gerrits, W. J. J., Apajalahti, J. A., Newbold, J. R., Dijkstra, J., Leng, R. A., & Perdok, H. B. (2010). Nitrate and sulfate: Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep. Journal of Dairy Science, 93(12), 5856-5866. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2010-3281
van Zijderveld, S. M. ; Gerrits, W. J.J. ; Apajalahti, J. A. ; Newbold, J. R. ; Dijkstra, J. ; Leng, R. A. ; Perdok, H. B. / Nitrate and sulfate : Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep. In: Journal of Dairy Science. 2010 ; Vol. 93, No. 12. pp. 5856-5866.
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van Zijderveld, SM, Gerrits, WJJ, Apajalahti, JA, Newbold, JR, Dijkstra, J, Leng, RA & Perdok, HB 2010, 'Nitrate and sulfate: Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep', Journal of Dairy Science, vol. 93, no. 12, pp. 5856-5866. https://doi.org/10.3168/jds.2010-3281

Nitrate and sulfate : Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep. / van Zijderveld, S. M.; Gerrits, W. J.J.; Apajalahti, J. A.; Newbold, J. R.; Dijkstra, J.; Leng, R. A.; Perdok, H. B.

In: Journal of Dairy Science, Vol. 93, No. 12, 01.12.2010, p. 5856-5866.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T2 - Effective alternative hydrogen sinks for mitigation of ruminal methane production in sheep

AU - van Zijderveld, S. M.

AU - Gerrits, W. J.J.

AU - Apajalahti, J. A.

AU - Newbold, J. R.

AU - Dijkstra, J.

AU - Leng, R. A.

AU - Perdok, H. B.

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