Identification of bioactives from the red seaweed Asparagopsis taxiformis that promote antimethanogenic activity in vitro
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Asparagopsis taxiformis has potent antimethanogenic activity as a feed supplement at 2 % of organic matter in in vitro bioassays. This study identified the main bioactive natural products and their effects on fermentation using rumen fluid from Bos indicus steers. Polar through to non-polar extracts (water, methanol, dichloromethane and hexane) were tested. The dichloromethane extract was most active, reducing methane production by 79 %. Bromoform was the most abundant natural product in the biomass of Asparagopsis (1723 μg g−1 dry weight [DW] biomass), followed by dibromochloromethane (15.8 μg g−1 DW), bromochloroacetic acid (9.8 μg g−1 DW) and dibromoacetic acid (0.9 μg g−1 DW). Bromoform and dibromochloromethane had the highest activity with concentrations ≥1 μM inhibiting methane production. However, only bromoform was present in sufficient quantities in the biomass at 2 % organic matter to elicit this effect. Importantly, the degradability of organic matter and volatile fatty acids were not affected at effective concentrations.
KeywordsRed macroalgae Rhodophyta Seaweed Natural products Methane inhibitors Bromoform
This research is supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, 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. Mike Devery for kindly supplying the bromochloromethane used in this study. We also thank Pedro Henrique de Paula Silva for reviewing the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Rumen fluid was collected from four rumen-fistulated Brahman (B. indicus) steers, which were maintained according to guidelines approved by CSIRO Animal Ethics Committee (A5/2011) and in accordance with the Australian Code of Practice for the Care and Use of Animals for Scientific Purposes.
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