Ruminant production is responsible for ~9% of anthropogenic CO2 emission and 37% of CH4 emissions. Release of methane results in 6-12% less energy being available to the animal. Ruminants also contribute towards NO2 within the environment, a persistent gas in the atmosphere, which has 296 times more warming potential than CO2.
RumenPredict brings together key members of the Rumen Microbial Genomics (RMG) network to generate the necessary data to link rumen microbiome information to host genetics and phenotype and develop feed based mitigation strategies. This will enhance innovative capacity and allow integration of new knowledge with that previously generated to devise geographic and animal-specific solutions to reduce the environmental impact of livestock ruminants.
The project will provide a platform for predicting how host genetics, feed additives or microbiome may affect emission phenotypes and develop genetic/diet/prediction technologies further for implementation to improve nitrogen use efficiency whilst decreasing environmental impact of ruminants.
RumenPredict is centered on reducing ruminant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and providing stakeholders with innovative technologies to predict methane emissions.
RumenPredict is split into 5 workpackages:
To date the project has resulted in much data generation. For example, WP2 partners Teagasc have genotyped and phenotyped over 300 cattle alongside parners in the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation. Cattle with extremes of methane emissions have been identified based on Greenfeed methane emission data. Rumen and buccal samples were taken from the cattle and those from extreme animals have been sent to partners in Wageningen University and Research for sequencing (metataxonomy, shotgun metagenomics and metatranscriptomics).
Data will be available shortly that will allow the linkages between host genotype, methane emissions and rumen/buccal microbiomes to be made. Buccal microbiomes were assessed for their usefulness as a proxy for the rumen microbiome given the ease of obtaining buccal samples compared with rumen samples.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.