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Red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) supplementation reduces enteric methane by over 80 percent in beef steers
Roque, B.M.; Venegas, M.; Kinley, R.D.; de Nys, R.; Duarte, T.L.; Yang, X.; Kebreab, E. (2021). Red seaweed (Asparagopsis taxiformis) supplementation reduces enteric methane by over 80 percent in beef steers. PLoS One 16(3): e0247820. https://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247820
In: PLoS One. Public Library of Science: San Francisco. ISSN 1932-6203; e-ISSN 1932-6203, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Asparagopsis taxiformis (Delile) Trevisan de Saint-Léon, 1845 [WoRMS]
    Marine/Coastal

Authors  Top 
  • Roque, B.M.
  • Venegas, M.
  • Kinley, R.D.
  • de Nys, R.
  • Duarte, T.L.
  • Yang, X.
  • Kebreab, E.

Abstract
    The red macroalgae (seaweed) Asparagopsis spp. has shown to reduce ruminant enteric methane (CH4) production up to 99% in vitro. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Asparagopsis taxiformis on CH4 production (g/day per animal), yield (g CH4/kg dry matter intake (DMI)), and intensity (g CH4/kg ADG); average daily gain (ADG; kg gain/day), feed conversion efficiency (FCE; kg ADG/kg DMI), and carcass and meat quality in growing beef steers. Twenty-one Angus-Hereford beef steers were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: 0% (Control), 0.25% (Low), and 0.5% (High) A. taxiformis inclusion based on organic matter intake. Steers were fed 3 diets: high, medium, and low forage total mixed ration (TMR) representing life-stage diets of growing beef steers. The Low and High treatments over 147 days reduced enteric CH4 yield 45 and 68%, respectively. However, there was an interaction between TMR type and the magnitude of CH4 yield reduction. Supplementing low forage TMR reduced CH4 yield 69.8% (P <0.01) for Low and 80% (P <0.01) for High treatments. Hydrogen (H2) yield (g H2/DMI) increased (P <0.01) 336 and 590% compared to Control for the Low and High treatments, respectively. Carbon dioxide (CO2) yield (g CO2/DMI) increased 13.7% between Control and High treatments (P = 0.03). No differences were found in ADG, carcass quality, strip loin proximate analysis and shear force, or consumer taste preferences. DMI tended to decrease 8% (P = 0.08) in the Low treatment and DMI decreased 14% (P <0.01) in the High treatment. Conversely, FCE tended to increase 7% in Low (P = 0.06) and increased 14% in High (P <0.01) treatment compared to Control. The persistent reduction of CH4 by A. taxiformis supplementation suggests that this is a viable feed additive to significantly decrease the carbon footprint of ruminant livestock and potentially increase production efficiency.

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