Corn gluten is an important by-product, and can replace corn meal in total mixed rations (TMR) to provide cost-effective feed to ruminants. During wet-milling of maize, sulfur dioxide (SO2) is added to control fermentation conditions.
The replacement of corn meal with corn gluten decreases starch content and increases fiber, crude protein (CP) and sulfur content, which alters nature of the concentrate. Therefore, the replacement of corn meal with corn gluten may affect ruminal fermentation and CH4 emissions.
Researchers from China Agricultural University and the Institute of Subtropical Agriculture (ISA) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences investigated the effect of dietary corn gluten inclusion on rumen fermentation, microbiota and methane emissions in goats.
Scientists found that replacing corn meal with corn gluten increased neutral detergent fiber (NDF) and CP intake and decreased starch intake. When compared with corn meal diet, goats fed with corn gluten diet had lower butyrate molar percentage, and greater molar percentage of valerate and isobutyrate. Goats fed with corn gluten diet decreased CH4 emission expressed as g/d and g/kg DMI. Furthermore, goats fed with corn gluten diet decreased 16S rRNA gene copies of R. amylophilus, and increased 18S rRNA gene copies of fungi and 16S rRNA gene copies of F. succinogenes.
This study indicated that replacing corn meal with corn gluten decreases starch content and increases fiber content, and growth of fibrolytic fungi and F. succinogenes, and inhibits growth of R. amylophilus. An increase in sulfur content after replacing corn meal with corn glute provides additional H2 sink, which causes a reduction in CH4 emissions. Corn gluten could be an alternative feed to decrease the enteric CH4 emission in ruminant production.
The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, National Key Research and Development Program of China, State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agriculture Research System, Major Project of Hunan Province, Youth Innovation Promotion Association CAS, CAS President's International Fellowship.
The study entitled “Effect of dietary corn gluten inclusion on rumen fermentation, microbiota and methane emissions in goats” has been published in the Animal feed science and technology, details could be found at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0377840119306698.
Contact: Wang min
Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences