Animal board invited review: Genetic possibilities to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants

Pickering, N. K., Oddy, V. H., Basarab, J., Cammack, K., Hayes, B., Hegarty, R. S., Lassen, J., McEwan, J. C., Miller, S., Pinares-Patino, C. S. and de Haas, Y. (2015) Animal board invited review: Genetic possibilities to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants. Animal, 9 9: 1431-1440. doi:10.1017/S1751731115000968

Author Pickering, N. K.
Oddy, V. H.
Basarab, J.
Cammack, K.
Hayes, B.
Hegarty, R. S.
Lassen, J.
McEwan, J. C.
Miller, S.
Pinares-Patino, C. S.
de Haas, Y.
Title Animal board invited review: Genetic possibilities to reduce enteric methane emissions from ruminants
Journal name Animal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1751-732X
Publication date 2015-05-08
Year available 2015
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1017/S1751731115000968
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 9
Issue 9
Start page 1431
End page 1440
Total pages 10
Place of publication Cambridge, United Kingdom
Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language eng
Abstract Measuring and mitigating methane (CH4) emissions from livestock is of increasing importance for the environment and for policy making. Potentially, the most sustainable way of reducing enteric CH4 emission from ruminants is through the estimation of genomic breeding values to facilitate genetic selection. There is potential for adopting genetic selection and in the future genomic selection, for reduced CH4 emissions from ruminants. From this review it has been observed that both CH4 emissions and production (g/day) are a heritable and repeatable trait. CH4 emissions are strongly related to feed intake both in the short term (minutes to several hours) and over the medium term (days). When measured over the medium term, CH4 yield (MY, g CH4/kg dry matter intake) is a heritable and repeatable trait albeit with less genetic variation than for CH4 emissions. CH4 emissions of individual animals are moderately repeatable across diets, and across feeding levels, when measured in respiration chambers. Repeatability is lower when short term measurements are used, possibly due to variation in time and amount of feed ingested prior to the measurement. However, while repeated measurements add value; it is preferable the measures be separated by at least 3 to 14 days. This temporal separation of measurements needs to be investigated further. Given the above issue can be resolved, short term (over minutes to hours) measurements of CH4 emissions show promise, especially on systems where animals are fed ad libitum and frequency of meals is high. However, we believe that for short-term measurements to be useful for genetic evaluation, a number (between 3 and 20) of measurements will be required over an extended period of time (weeks to months). There are opportunities for using short-term measurements in standardised feeding situations such as breath ‘sniffers’ attached to milking parlours or total mixed ration feeding bins, to measure CH4. Genomic selection has the potential to reduce both CH4 emissions and MY, but measurements on thousands of individuals will be required. This includes the need for combined resources across countries in an international effort, emphasising the need to acknowledge the impact of animal and production systems on measurement of the CH4 trait during design of experiments.
Keyword Enteric methane
Greenhouse gases
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 15 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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