AgResearch is part of team involved in break-through for agricultural methane mitigation

An international collaboration led by New Zealand scientists has made an important discovery in the quest to help lower methane emissions from animals. The findings have just been published online in the respected International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal. See here.

Methane emissions from animals account for around a third of New Zealand’s emissions. The animal itself does not produce methane; rather, a group of microbes, called methanogens, live in the stomach (rumen), and produce methane mainly from hydrogen and carbon dioxide when digesting feed.

The international team which involved researchers from AgResearch (New Zealand), the Universities of Otago (New Zealand), Monash (Australia), Illinois (USA) and Hokkaido (Japan) has for the first time identified the main rumen microbes and enzymes that both produce and consume that hydrogen. Continue reading

Another step forward in research to reduce methane emissions from sheep

AgResearch scientists and US researchers have identified microbial differences in the rumens of sheep with high or low methane emissions.

Part of a Global Partnerships in Livestock Emissions Research project, the work has been carried out by the Rumen Microbiology team at AgResearch Grasslands in Palmerston North and at the US Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute in San Francisco.

Methane belched from sheep and other ruminants accounts for around 28% of global methane emissions from human-related activities. It is produced in the rumen by microbes called methanogens and the work targeting these organisms is aimed at reducing methane emissions from ruminants.

The results have just been published in the top-ranking journal Genome Research, according to a media statement from AgResearch.

AgResearch scientist and project leader, Dr Graeme Attwood says they are one of the first major findings of the four-year project.

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