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Abstract

The aim of the present study was to compare in vitro methane (CH4) production and other fermentation parameters from different substrates incubated either in rumen or faecal inoculum. Five different substrates were incubated in two different inocula and gas recordings were made using an automated in vitro gas production system. The substrates were: particulate matter obtained from reticulo-rumen (RR) digesta and faeces (FC) by wet sieving, timothy hay (H), first cut grass silage (S) and a mixture of grass silage and barley (50:50; SB). One gram of each substrate was incubated either in 60ml buffered rumen or faecal inoculum taken from Swedish lactating dairy cows for 48h. The results indicated that in vitro total gas production, predicted in vivo CH4production and the ratio of CH4production to total gas production were greater (P<0.01) for substrates incubated in rumen inoculum as compared to faecal inoculum. Mean of predicted in vivo CH4production was greater for substrates incubated in rumen inoculum (23.5ml/g DM, 29.0ml/g OM) as compared to faecal inoculum (11.2ml/g DM, 14.3ml/g OM). Predicted CH4production based on volatile fatty acids (VFA) stoichiometry equations (CH4VFA) showed no difference in CH4per mol VFA (P=0.44) between the two sources of inoculum used for all substrates. Molar proportions of propionate were higher and that of butyrate were lower (P<0.01) for all substrates incubated in faecal inoculum compared to rumen inoculum. No difference (P=0.13) in molar proportions of acetate was observed. Digestibility of neutral detergent fibre (aNDFomD) and true organic matter digestibility (TOMD) were lower (P<0.01) for all substrates incubated in faecal inoculum compared to rumen inoculum. It can be concluded that using faecal inoculum tended to give lower values of predicted in vivo CH4production as compared to rumen inoculum. The discrepancy between observed and stoichiometric CH4production suggests an existence of acetogenesis in the hindgut.

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Ramin, M., Lerose, D., Tagliapietra, F., & Huhtanen, P. (2015). Comparison of rumen fluid inoculum vs. faecal inoculum on predicted methane production using a fully automated in vitro gas production system. Livestock Science, 181, 65–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2015.09.025

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