Methane production of two roughage and total mixed ration as influenced by cellulase and xylanase enzyme addition

06 Feb 2015

In recent decades supplementation of animal feeds with exogenous fibrolytic enzymes has substantially improved digestibility and animal performance. However, information related to associated methane production is limited and inconsistent. This study evaluated the effect of cellulase and xylanase enzymes on in vitro methane production of Eragrostis curvula hay, maize (Zea mays) stover and a total mixed ration (TMR) at seven levels of the two enzymes. Feed samples were incubated for 2, 12, 24 and 48 h in an in vitro batch culture with buffer and rumen fluid, and fibrolytic enzymes. Gas production was measured using a pressure transducer connected to a data tracker, while methane gas was analysed using a gas chromatograph which was calibrated with standard CH4 and CO2. Increases in the level of enzyme application resulted in increases in gas volume, total volatile fatty acid (VFA) production, dry matter (DM) disappearance and associated increases in methane production. The linear increase in percentage and volume of methane production in tandem with increases in level of enzyme application might be due to increased fermentation, and organic matter degradability that resulted in a shift in VFA production towards acetate. Considering the efficiency of DM and neutral detergent fiber degradation and production of associated VFA with levels of enzymes, the use of 1 mg g−1 DM of enzyme can be a good option for the feeds tested. However, they cannot decrease methane production. It will be very important to consider other hydrogen sinks that can capture directly extra H+ produced by the addition of enzyme so that their supplementation could be very efficient and environmentally sound.