Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Bushland, Texas » Conservation and Production Research Laboratory » Livestock Nutrient Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374541

Research Project: Improved Practices to Conserve Air Quality, Maintain Animal Productivity, and Enhance Use of Manure and Soil Nutrients of Cattle Production Systems for the Southern Great Plains

Location: Livestock Nutrient Management Research

Title: The role of seaweed as a potential dietary supplementation for enteric methane mitigation in ruminants: Challenges and opportunities

item Min, Byeng Ryel
item Parker, David
item Brauer, David - Dave
item Lockard, Catherine
item HALES, KRISTIN - Texas Tech University
item AKBAY, ALEXIA - Symbrosia Inc
item AUGYTE, SIMONA - Symbrosia Inc

Submitted to: Animal Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2021
Publication Date: 10/9/2021
Citation: Min, B., Parker, D.B., Brauer, D.K., Lockard, C.L., Hales, K., Akbay, A., Augyte, S. 2021. The role of seaweed as a potential dietary supplementation for enteric methane mitigation in ruminants: Challenges and opportunities. Animal Nutrition. 7:1371-1387.

Interpretive Summary: The effect of methane on global warming is gaining attention because, as a greenhouse gas, it has a global warming potential 28 times that of carbon dioxide. There have been few studies to summarize greenhouse gas emission associated with seaweed, rumen microbiota activities, feed efficiency, and dietary intervention. Scientists from USDA-ARS (Bushland, TX), Texas Tech University (Lubbock, TX) and Symbrosia Inc. (HI) analyzed how dietary seaweed and other dietary interventions affect greenhouse gas emissions and rumen microbial activities. Our meta-analysis concluded that bromoform-rich diets containing specific red seaweeds suppressed the production of methane in ruminants. This data will be used to update greenhouse gas emission strategies for beef cattle and dairy cattle.

Technical Abstract: This review discusses the effects of halogenated aliphatic compounds in seaweed on inhibition of methanogenesis in the rumen, microbial populations (bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and archaea), metabolism of halogenated compounds, ruminal fermentation profiles and growth performance of animals fed seaweed. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that seaweed has the potential to mitigate enteric methane emissions from ruminants when added to the diets of beef and dairy cattle. This review is an attempt to explain the significance of various secondary metabolites like bromoform, dibromoacetate, dibromochloromethane, phlorotannins, phenols, and flavonoids. Apart from this, the importance of halogenated secondary metabolites as anti-methanogens in seaweed will be discussed. Seaweeds are used in pharmaceuticals, health promoters, and livestock feed supplements which are discussed along with the emerging technology of their anti-methanogenic potency. Finally, we have also briefly discussed the concept of seaweed utilization as a source of enteric methane reduction strategies and its benefits.