Navigation Links
Methane gas from cows -- the proof is in the poo
Date:6/6/2011

Scientists could have a revolutionary new way of measuring how much of the potent greenhouse gas methane is produced by cows and other ruminants, thanks to a surprising discovery in their poo.

Researchers from the University of Bristol and the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research Centre in Ireland, have found a link between methane production and levels of a compound called archaeol in the faeces of several fore-gut fermenting animals including cows, sheep and deer.

The compound could potentially be developed as a biomarker to estimate the methane production from domestic and wild animals, allowing scientists to more accurately assess the contribution that ruminants make to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Co-author Dr Fiona Gill, who conducted the work as a postdoctoral researcher at Bristol and is now at the University of Leeds, said: "When it comes to calculating carbon budgets there is currently a lot of uncertainty surrounding animal methane contributions, particularly from wild ruminants.

"We're quite good at measuring man-made CO2 emissions, but techniques to measure the animal production of methane a much more potent greenhouse gas have serious limitations.

"If we can identify a simple biomarker for methane production in animal stools, then we can use this along with information on diet and animal population numbers to estimate their total contribution to global methane levels."

Cows, sheep and other ruminants are thought to be responsible for around one-fifth of global methane production but the precise amount has proved difficult to quantify. Methane production from animals is often measured using respiration chambers, which can be laborious and are unsuitable for grazing animals.

Archaeol is thought to come from organisms called archaea, which are symbiotic or 'friendly' microbes that live in the foregut of ruminant animals. These microbes produce methane as a by-product of their metabolism and this is then released by the animal as burping and flatulence.

Principal investigator, Dr Ian Bull of Bristol's School of Chemistry said: "We initially detected archaeol in the faeces of several foregut fermenters including camels, cows, giraffes, sheep and llamas. We then expanded the study to evaluate the quantities of this compound in the faeces of cows with different diets.

"Two groups of cows were fed on different diets and then their methane production and faecal archaeol concentration were measured. The animals that were allowed to graze on as much silage as they wanted emitted significantly more methane and produced faeces with higher concentrations of archaeol than those given a fixed amount of silage, supplemented by concentrate feed.

"This confirms that manipulating the diet of domestic livestock could also be an important way of controlling methane gas emissions."


'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Isom
h.isom@leeds.ac.uk
44-011-334-35764
University of Leeds
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Methane gas levels begin to increase again
2. Global methane levels on the rise again
3. Wetlands likely source of methane from ancient warming event
4. Landfill cover soil methane oxidation underestimated
5. Methane-eating microbes can use iron and manganese oxides to breathe
6. Methane gas likely spewing into the oceans through vents in sea floor
7. RIT scientist shines laser light on methane in pursuit of clean fuel
8. Methane-powered laptops may be closer than you think
9. Milestone: A methane-metal marriage
10. Freshwater methane release changes greenhouse gas equation
11. UCSB, Texas A&M scientists find methane gas concentrations have returned to near-normal levels
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/4/2017)... LAS VEGAS , Jan. 4, 2017  For the thousands of ... , a global leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and ... pressure monitors. On display in A&D Medical,s special CES ... monitors represent the ongoing expansion of the company,s WellnessConnected product ... ...
(Date:12/20/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016 The ... sharing, rental and leasing is stoking significant interest ... radio frequency technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics ... as the next wave of wireless technologies in ... access system to advanced access systems opens the ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... 2016 The global wearable medical device market, in terms ... from USD 5.31 billion in 2016, at a CAGR of 18.0% ... ... advancements in medical devices, launch of a growing number of smartphone-based ... among healthcare providers, and increasing focus on physical fitness. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... PUNE, India , Jan. 19, 2017  Market Research Future ... The Global Market for Liquid Biopsy is growing rapidly and expected ... period. Market Highlights ... The Global Liquid Biopsy Market has been assessed as ... high growth figures and boom in the coming future. There has ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Berkeley, CA (PRWEB) , ... January 19, 2017 ... ... the delivery of product vigilance software to leading biopharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers ... Mail is a fully 21 CFR Part 11-compliant email client designed to provide ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots ... scientists from around the world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology ... entirely on merit and decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... N.Y. , Jan. 18, 2017 Acupath ... services, announces the formation of an Executive Committee that ... and beyond. John Cucci , a ... promoted from Director of Business Development to Chief ... 2015, Mr. Cucci served in senior sales leadership roles ...
Breaking Biology Technology: