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J Anim Sci. 1998 Aug;76(8):2190-6.

The role of pH in regulating ruminal methane and ammonia production.

Author information

1
Section of Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.

Abstract

When steers (n = 4) were fed increasing amounts of concentrate (0, 45, or 90% of DM) and decreasing amounts of forage, the VFA concentration increased (P < .001) and ruminal pH, acetate:propionate ratio, and dissociated ammonia declined (P < .001). Acetate:propionate ratio and dissociated ammonia were highly correlated (r2 = .82 and .65, respectively) with ruminal pH. In vivo acetate:propionate ratio was highly correlated (r2 = .78) with the capacity of the bacteria to produce methane from H2 and CO2 in vitro, and in vivo pH-dissociated ammonia was correlated (r2 = .59) with the capacity of the bacteria to produce ammonia from protein hydrolysate. The role of pH in regulating methane and ammonia production was supported by the effect of pH in vitro. When bacteria from cattle fed concentrate or forage were incubated at pH values from 6.5 to 5.7, methane production decreased (P < .001) from 48 to 7 nmol x mg protein(-1) x min(-1) and from 14 to 2 nmol x mg protein(-1) x min(-1), respectively. The reduction in in vitro pH (6.5 to 5.7) also decreased (P < .001) the rates of ammonia production, but only if the bacteria were obtained from cattle fed forage (28 to 15 nmol x mg protein(-1) x min(-1)). Bacteria from cattle fed 90% concentrate had similar (P > .05) rates of ammonia production at pH 6.5 to 5.7 (approximately 12 nmol x mg protein(-1) x min(-1)). These results indicated that ruminal pH affected ruminal methane production, acetate:propionate ratio, deamination, and ammonia concentration.

PMID:
9734871
DOI:
10.2527/1998.7682190x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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