Bloat and acidosis are distressing disorders that result from a malfunction of microbial digestion in the rumen. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and ammonia, which forms urinary urea, arise from normal rumen fermentation. The aim is to develop new plants or plant extracts as dietary supplements for ruminants to replace chemical additives and growth-promoting antibiotics. The plant materials will be collected from botanical and industrial collections, and they will be evaluated for their ability to alleviate nutritional stress in ruminants by preventing lactic acidosis and bloat, and to decrease pollution by preventing methane formation and decreasing nitrogen excretions. The project will deliver plant-based, sustainable solutions to these problems. The results will benefit European Union biotech and agricultural industries, and increase crop diversity.
The project will explore the potential of new plant species or plant extracts as feed additives for ruminants, to overcome long-standing problems of animal welfare and environmental damage. A common resource of plant materials will be created. Samples will be identified within the collection that inhibit lactic acid production, bloat, methane formation or nitrogen losses resulting from rumen fermentation. Plants suitable for agronomic exploitation and extracts with commercial potential will be identified and tested further in feasibility experiments. A successful outcome will lead to:
1) new crops and plant extracts being used as feed additives, replacing synthetic additives, including antibiotics
2) increased diversity of plant species in cultivation
3) improved animal health and welfare
4) decreased environmental emissions of methane and nitrogen-rich animal wastes.
Five hundred collected samples provided a wealth of data, with at least 25 being considered to have potential value as a feed additive to control the target detrimental acitvities of ruminal fermentation. The data on the rest of the samples when released into the public domain, will be a useful reference for many producers of plant materials, research nutritionists, agronomists and so on.
None of the targetted sampleshave been applied commerciallydue to the limited budget of the consortium. The EC's regulatory framework is a disincentive to the commercial development of products based on natural plant materials.
ARABLE CROPS, GENOMICS, BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY, PLANT EXTRACTS
Scientist responsible for the project
Mr R.J. WALLACE
AB21 9SB Aberdeen
United Kingdom (The) - GB
Phone: +44 1224 716656
Fax: +44 1224 716687
||ROWETT RESEARCH INSTITUTE
||01 January 2001
||2 585 822 €
|Total EC contribution
||2 046 982 €