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Scientia Agricola

versión impresa ISSN 0103-9016

Resumen

QIAO, Junyi; TAN, Zhiliang  y  WANG, Min. Potential and existing mechanisms of enteric methane production in ruminants. Sci. agric. (Piracicaba, Braz.) [online]. 2014, vol.71, n.5, pp.430-440. ISSN 0103-9016.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/0103-9016-2013-0423.

Enteric methane (CH4) emissions in ruminants have attracted considerable attention due to their impact on greenhouse gases and the contribution of agricultural practices to global warming. Over the last two decades, a number of approaches have been adopted to mitigate CH4 emissions. However, the mechanisms of methanogenesis have still not been fully defined. According to the genome sequences of M. ruminantium in the rumen and of M. AbM4 in the abomasum, the pathways of carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction and formate oxidation to CH4 have now been authenticated in ruminants. Furthermore, in the light of species or genera description of methanogens, the precursors of methanogenesis discovered in the rumen and research advances in related subjects, pathways of acetate dissimilation via Methanosarcina and Methanosaeta as well as metabolism of methanol to CH4 might be present in the rumen, although neither process has yet been experimentally demonstrated in the rumen. Herein the research advances in methanogenesic mechanisms including existing and potential mechanisms are reviewed in detail. In addition, further research efforts to understand the methanogenesis mechanism should focus on isolation and identification of more specific methanogens, and their genome sequences. Such increased knowledge will provide benefits in terms of improved dietary energy utilization and a reduced contribution of enteric CH4 emissions to total global greenhouse gas emissions from the ruminant production system.

Palabras clave : methanogenesis; carbon dioxide; formate; acetate; methanol.

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