Journal of Applied Phycology

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 1443–1452 | Cite as

Dose-response effects of Asparagopsis taxiformis and Oedogonium sp. on in vitro fermentation and methane production

  • Lorenna MachadoEmail author
  • Marie Magnusson
  • Nicholas A. Paul
  • Robert Kinley
  • Rocky de Nys
  • Nigel Tomkins


This study aimed to identify the optimal doses of the macroalgae Asparagopsis taxiformis and Oedogonium sp., individually and in combination, which would decrease the in vitro production of methane while minimizing adverse effects on fermentation, using rumen inoculant from Bos indicus steers. The dose-response experiment evaluated ten doses of Asparagopsis [ranging from 0 to 16.7 % of the organic matter (OM) incubated] and seven doses of Oedogonium (ranging from 0 to 100 % OM) using Rhodes grass hay as a basal substrate. Asparagopsis was highly effective in decreasing the production of methane with a reduction of 99 % at doses as low as 2 % OM basis. However, a dose of 2 % OM also decreased the production of volatile fatty acids (VFA). Oedogonium was less effective with doses ≥50 % OM significantly decreasing the production of methane. A combination of Asparagopsis (2 % OM) and Oedogonium (25 and 50 % OM) continued to suppress the production of methane, independent of the inclusion rate of Oedogonium. The effectiveness of Asparagopsis demonstrates its potential for the mitigation of methane emissions from ruminants at inclusion rates of ≤2 % OM. Oedogonium is a potential feed supplement due to its nutritional value, but supplements ≤25 % OM are recommended to avoid adverse effects on apparent in vitro fermentation.


Asparagopsis Rhodophyta Greenhouse gas mitigation Methane Volatile fatty acids Ruminant Cattle feed 



This research is part of the MBD Energy Research and Development program for Biological Carbon Capture and Storage. This project is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture through the National Livestock Methane Production Project, the Australian Government through the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and the Advanced Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (AMCRC), funded through the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centre Scheme. We thank Dr. Pedro de Paula Silva for assistance with the experiments and Dr. Matthew Vucko for the advice with the statistical analyses. We also thank Jeffrey Palpratt for handling and maintenance of the donor steers, and Dr. Shane Askew from the Advanced Analytical Centre, JCU, for analytical advice

Supplementary material

10811_2015_639_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
Table S1 Results of full factorial permutational analyses of variance (PERMANOVAs) testing the effects of the fixed factors time (Ti), dose of Oedogonium (Do), and addition of Asparagopsis (Ad) on Gas parameters, VFA profiles, OMdeg, and pH of treatments in the macroalgae combination experiment. Analyses were conducted in Primer v6 (Primer-E Ltd, UK) using Bray-Curtis dissimilarities on fourth root transformed data and 999 unrestricted permutations of raw data. Pseudo F (F) and P values are presented, significant terms shown in bold. (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lorenna Machado
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marie Magnusson
    • 1
  • Nicholas A. Paul
    • 1
  • Robert Kinley
    • 2
  • Rocky de Nys
    • 1
  • Nigel Tomkins
    • 2
  1. 1.MACRO–Centre for Macroalgal Resources and Biotechnology, College of Marine and Environmental SciencesJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia
  2. 2.CSIRO Agriculture, Australian Tropical Science and Innovation PrecinctJames Cook UniversityTownsvilleAustralia

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