Response of the rumen archaeal and bacterial populations to anti-methanogenic organosulphur compounds in continuous-culture fermenters

Gonzalo Martínez-Fernández, Leticia Abecia, A Ignacio Martín-García, Eva Ramos-Morales, Stuart E Denman, Charles J Newbold, Eduarda Molina-Alcaide, David R Yáñez-Ruiz

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Study of the efficacy of methanogenesis inhibitors in the rumen has given inconsistent results, mainly due to poorly understood effects on the key microbial groups involved in pathways for methane (CH4) synthesis. The experiment described in this report was designed to assess the effect of propyl propane thiosulfinate (PTS), diallyl disulfide (DDS) and bromochloromethane (BCM) on rumen fermentation, methane production and microbial populations in continuous culture fermenters. No effects on total volatile fatty acids (VFA) were observed with PTS or DDS, but VFA were decreased with BCM. Amylase activity increased with BCM as compared with the other treatments. A decrease in methane production was observed with PTS (48%) and BCM (94%) as compared with control values. The concentration of methanogenic archaea decreased with BCM from day 4 onward and with PTS on days 4 and 8. Pyrosequencing analysis revealed that PTS and BCM decreased the relative abundance of Methanomicrobiales and increased that of Methanobrevibacter and Methanosphaera. The total concentration of bacteria was not modified by any treatment, although treatment with BCM increased the relative abundance of Prevotella and decreased that of Ruminococcus. These results suggest that the inhibition of methane production in the rumen by PTS and BCM is associated with a shift in archaeal biodiversity and changes in the bacterial community with BCM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)fiv079
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number8
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 2015

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  • Allyl Compounds/pharmacology
  • Amylases/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Archaea/metabolism
  • Bacteria/metabolism
  • Diet
  • Disulfides/pharmacology
  • Euryarchaeota/metabolism
  • Fatty Acids, Volatile/analysis
  • Fermentation
  • Hydrocarbons, Halogenated/pharmacology
  • Methane/biosynthesis
  • Methanobacteriaceae/metabolism
  • Methanobrevibacter/metabolism
  • Methanomicrobiales/metabolism
  • Microbial Consortia/drug effects
  • Prevotella/metabolism
  • Rumen/microbiology
  • Ruminococcus/metabolism


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