Effects of the macroalga Asparagopsis taxiformis and oregano leaves on methane emission, rumen fermentation, and lactational performance of dairy cows

Asparagopsis taxiformis (AT) is a source of multiple halogenated compounds and, in a limited number of studies, has been shown to decrease enteric CH4 emission in vitro and in vivo. Similarly, oregano has been suggested as a potential CH4 mitigating agent. This study consisted of 2 in vitro and 2 in vivo experiments. Experiment (Exp.) 1 was aimed at establishing the effect of AT on CH4 emission in vitro. Two experiments (Exp. 2 and 3) with lactating dairy cows were conducted to determine the antimethanogenic effect of AT and oregano (Exp. 3) in vivo. Another experiment (Exp. 4) was designed to investigate stability of bromoform (CHBr3) in AT over time. In Exp. 3, 20 Holstein cows were used in a replicated 4 × 4 Latin square design with four 28-d periods. Treatments were basal diet (control) or basal diet supplemented with (dry matter basis) 0.25% AT (LowAT), 0.50% AT (HighAT), or 1.77% oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) leaves. Enteric gas emissions were measured using the GreenFeed system (C-Lock Inc., Rapid City, SD), and rumen samples were collected for fermentation analysis using the ororuminal technique. In Exp.1 (in vitro), relative to the control, AT (at 1% dry matter basis, inclusion rate) decreased CH4 yield by 98%. In Exp. 3, HighAT decreased average daily CH4 emission and CH4 yield by 65% and 55%, respectively, in experimental periods 1 and 2, but had no effect in periods 3 and 4. The differential response to AT among experimental periods was likely a result of a decrease in CHBr3 concentration in AT over time, as observed in Exp. 4 (up to 84% decrease in 4 mo of storage). In Exp. 3, H2 emission was increased by AT and, as expected, the proportion of acetate in the total volatile fatty acids in the rumen was decreased and those of propionate and butyrate were increased by HighAT compared with the control. Compared with the control, HighAT decreased dry matter intake, milk yield, and energycorrected milk yield in Exp. 3. Milk composition was not affected by treatment, except lactose percentage and yield were decreased by HighAT. Concentrations of iodine and bromide in milk were increased by HighAT compared with the control. Milk CHBr3 concentration and its organoleptic characteristics were not different between control and HighAT. Oregano had no effect on CH4 emission or lactational performance of the cows in Exp. 3. Overall, AT included at 0.50% in the ration of dairy cows can have a large mitigation effect on enteric CH4 emission, but dry matter intake and milk production may also decrease. There was a marked decrease in the CH4 mitigation potential of AT in the second half of Exp. 3, likely resulting from CHBr3 decay over time.



Work Title Effects of the macroalga Asparagopsis taxiformis and oregano leaves on methane emission, rumen fermentation, and lactational performance of dairy cows
Open Access
  1. Hannah Stefenoni
  2. Susanna Raeisaenen
  3. Sergio Cueva Welchez
  4. Derek E Wasson
  5. Camila Lage
  7. Molly Fetter
  9. Meagan Hennessy
  10. Bonnie Vecchiarelli
  11. Joseph Bender
  12. Dipti Pitta
  13. Charles Cantrell
  14. Charels Yarish
  15. Alexander Hristov
  1. methane
  2. dairy cow
  3. Asparagopsis taxiformis
  4. oregano
License CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives)
Work Type Article
  1. Elsevier Inc
  2. Fass Inc
Publication Date November 21, 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.3168/jds.2020-19686
Deposited March 09, 2021




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Creator Hannah Stefenoni
  • Added Creator Susanna Raeisaenen
  • Added Creator Sergio Cueva Welchez
  • Added Creator Derek E Wasson
  • Added Creator Camila Lage
  • Added Creator Molly Fetter
  • Added Creator PHIL M SMITH
  • Added Creator Meagan Hennessy
  • Added Creator Bonnie Vecchiarelli
  • Added Creator Joseph Bender
  • Added Creator Dipti Pitta
  • Added Creator Charles Cantrell
  • Added Creator Charels Yarish
  • Added Creator Alexander Hristov
  • Added Stefenoni et al. 2021 JDS published.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
  • Published
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