Effect of Sodium Nitrate and Nitrate Reducing Bacteria on In vitro Methane Production and Fermentation with Buffalo Rumen Liquor

  • Sakthivel, Pillanatham Civalingam (Rumen Microbiology Laboratory, Animal Nutrition Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Kamra, Devki Nandan (Rumen Microbiology Laboratory, Animal Nutrition Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Agarwal, Neeta (Rumen Microbiology Laboratory, Animal Nutrition Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute) ;
  • Chaudhary, Chandra (Rumen Microbiology Laboratory, Animal Nutrition Division, Indian Veterinary Research Institute)
  • Received : 2011.10.21
  • Accepted : 2012.01.30
  • Published : 2012.06.01


Nitrate can serve as a terminal electron acceptor in place of carbon dioxide and inhibit methane emission in the rumen and nitrate reducing bacteria might help enhance the reduction of nitrate/nitrite, which depends on the type of feed offered to animals. In this study the effects of three levels of sodium nitrate (0, 5, 10 mM) on fermentation of three diets varying in their wheat straw to concentrate ratio (700:300, low concentrate, LC; 500:500, medium concentrate, MC and 300:700, high concentrate, HC diet) were investigated in vitro using buffalo rumen liquor as inoculum. Nitrate reducing bacteria, isolated from the rumen of buffalo were tested as a probiotic to study if it could help in enhancing methane inhibition in vitro. Inclusion of sodium nitrate at 5 or 10 mM reduced (p<0.01) methane production (9.56, 7.93 vs. 21.76 ml/g DM; 12.20, 10.42 vs. 25.76 ml/g DM; 15.49, 12.33 vs. 26.86 ml/g DM) in LC, MC and HC diets, respectively. Inclusion of nitrate at both 5 and 10 mM also reduced (p<0.01) gas production in all the diets, but in vitro true digestibility (IVTD) of feed reduced (p<0.05) only in LC and MC diets. In the medium at 10 mM sodium nitrate level, there was 0.76 to 1.18 mM of residual nitrate and nitrite (p<0.01) also accumulated. In an attempt to eliminate residual nitrate and nitrite in the medium, the nitrate reducing bacteria were isolated from buffalo adapted to nitrate feeding and introduced individually (3 ml containing 1.2 to $2.3{\times}10^6$ cfu/ml) into in vitro incubations containing the MC diet with 10 mM sodium nitrate. Addition of live culture of NRBB 57 resulted in complete removal of nitrate and nitrite from the medium with a further reduction in methane and no effect on IVTD compared to the control treatments containing nitrate with autoclaved cultures or nitrate without any culture. The data revealed that nitrate reducing bacteria can be used as probiotic to prevent the accumulation of nitrite when sodium nitrate is used to reduce in vitro methane emissions.


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