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Ruminal fermentation, nutrient metabolism, and methane emissions of sheep in response to dietary supplementation with Bacillus licheniformis
- Deng, K.D., Xiao, Y., Ma, T., Tu, Y., Diao, Q.Y., Chen, Y.H., Jiang, J.J.
- Animal feed science and technology 2018 v.241 pp. 38-44
- Bacillus licheniformis, Dorper, ammonium nitrogen, body weight, dietary supplements, digestibility, energy, metabolism, methane, methane production, neutral detergent fiber, nutrients, organic matter, rumen, rumen fermentation, spore-forming bacteria, wethers
- Some bacterial preparations have been used as rumen methane (CH4) mitigants, but the effect of the spore-forming bacterium Bacillus licheniformis on ruminal methanogenesis is unknown. In this study, twenty-four Dorper crossbred wethers (45.0 ± 1.96 kg of body weight) were randomly assigned to 4 dietary treatments (6 animals/treatment): a basal diet (control), or the basal diet supplemented with 2.5 × 108 (low; L), 2.5 × 109 (medium; M), or 2.5 × 1010 (high; H) colony-forming units of B. licheniformis per animal per day. Ruminal fermentation characteristics, apparent digestibility and metabolism of nutrients and gross energy, and in vivo methane emissions were measured. The L group had lower ruminal ammonia nitrogen concentrations than the control (78.5 vs. 100.8 mg/L; P = 0.001). Dietary B. licheniformis supplementation enhanced the apparent digestibility of dry matter, organic matter, N, and neutral detergent fiber (P < 0.001), improved the N retention and utilization efficiency (P = 0.005), and energy metabolizability (P < 0.001). Daily CH4 production in the L and M groups was lower than that in the control (39.9 and 39.8 vs. 42.5 L/d; P = 0.017 and 0.011, respectively), and these effects were also mirrored by relative CH4 production to dry matter (DM) intake (31.7 and 31.6 vs. 33.8 L/kg DM intake; P = 0.017 and 0.012, respectively). Relative CH4 production to digestible DM intake in the L, M, and H groups was lower than that in the control (P < 0.001). Dietary B. licheniformis supplementation effectively reduced in vivo methane emissions from sheep with concomitant improvement of their energy and protein utilization.