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Bioresource Technology
Vol. 186, 2015, Pages: 25–33

Effect of pH buffering capacity and sources of dietary sulfur on rumen fermentation, sulfide production, methane production, sulfate reducing bacteria, and total Archaea in in vitro rumen cultures

Hao Wu, Qingxiang Meng, Zhongtang Yu

College of Animal Science and Technology and State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China.


The effects of three types of dietary sulfur on in vitro fermentation characteristics, sulfide production, methane production, and microbial populations at two different buffer capacities were examined using in vitro rumen cultures. Addition of dry distilled grain with soluble (DDGS) generally decreased total gas production, degradation of dry matter and neutral detergent fiber, and concentration of total volatile fatty acids, while increasing ammonia concentration. High buffering capacity alleviated these adverse effects on fermentation. Increased sulfur content resulted in decreased methane emission, but total Archaea population was not changed significantly. The population of sulfate reducing bacteria was increased in a sulfur type-dependent manner. These results suggest that types of dietary sulfur and buffering capacity can affect rumen fermentation and sulfide production. Diet buffering capacity, and probably alkalinity, may be increased to alleviate some of the adverse effects associated with feeding DDGS at high levels.

Keywords: Buffering capacity; Dietary sulfur; Hydrogen sulfide; Methane; Sulfate reducing bacteria.

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