Effects of nitro compounds and feedstuffs on in vitro methane production in chicken cecal contents and rumen fluid.

PMID 16701620


Short-chain volatile fatty acids (VFA) and methane are the products from a wide variety of microorganisms living in the gastrointestinal tract. The objective of this study was to examine effects of feedstuff and select nitro compounds on VFA and methane production during in vitro incubation of laying hen cecal contents and rumen fluid from cattle and sheep. In the first experiment, one of the three nitro compound was added to incubations containing cecal contents from laying hens supplemented with either alfalfa (AF) or layer feed (LF). Both feed material influenced VFA production and acetic acid was the primary component. Incubations with nitro ethanol and 2-nitropropanol (NP) had significantly (P<0.05) higher propionate concentrations than incubations with added nitroethane (NE). The results further indicated that incubations containing LF produced significantly (P<0.05) more butyrate than incubations with added AF. Addition of NP and LF to incubations of avian cecal flora may promote Gram-positive, saccharolytic, VFA-producing bacteria, especially Clostridium spp. which is the predominant group in ceca. Similar to VFA production, both feed materials fostered methane production in the incubations although methane was lower (P<0.05) in incubations with added nitro compound, particularly NE. In experiments 3-8, NE was examined in incubations of bovine or ovine rumen fluid or cecal contents containing either AF or LF. Unlike cecal contents, LF significantly (P<0.05) supported in vitro methane production in incubations of both rumen fluids. The results show that NE impedes methane production, especially in incubations of chicken cecal contents.

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Nitroethane, ReagentPlus®, 99.5%
Nitroethane, reagent grade, ≥98.0%