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Keywords:

  • Humulus lupulus;
  • β- and α-acids;
  • in vitro rumen fermentation;
  • methane;
  • rumen microbial population;
  • Yucca schidigera;
  • sapogenins

Abstract

Background

β-Acids in hops (Humulus lupulus) and saponins in yucca (Yucca schidigera) have been found to possess antimicrobial properties similar to that of monensin and could be an alternative to in-feed antibiotics. The effects of monensin (MON) and ethanol extracts of hops (HE) and Y. schidigera (YE) alone and in combination with MON were assessed on ruminal microbial composition and fermentation in vitro of a barley-based diet.

Results

All treatments decreased (P < 0.05) CH4 production (per unit of dry matter), microbial protein (mg), and NH3-N accumulation. All treatments reduced (P < 0.01) the acetate:propionate (A:P) ratio and molar proportions of butyrate, but increased (P < 0.01) those of propionate, whereas those of acetate decreased (P < 0.001) with addition of MON (10 µg mL−1) and combined with HE or YE. Methane produced per unit of true digested dry matter decreased (P < 0.001) with all treatments except YE. Monensin reduced (P < 0.001) proportions of 16S rRNA copies of Ruminococcus flavefaciens, but increased (P < 0.01) those of Selenomonas ruminantium. Hops extract alone or combined with MON reduced (P < 0.01) proportions of R. flavefaciens but combined with MON tended (P < 0.1) to increase those of S. ruminantium. Yucca extract combined with MON increased (P < 0.01) the proportions of R. flavefaciens and S. ruminantium. All treatments except MON (2.5 µg mL−1) reduced (P < 0.01) the relative abundance of methanogens.

Conclusion

Hops extract and YE altered rumen microbes and fermentation in a manner similar to MON with many responses being additive when applied in combination. © 2013 Society of Chemical Industry