Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

Important break-through for agricultural methane mitigation

1 July 2019

Global collaboration leads to important break-through for agricultural methane mitigation

An international collaboration led by New Zealand scientists has made an important discovery in the quest to help lower methane emissions from animals. The findings have just been published online in the respected International Society for Microbial Ecology Journal. See here.

Methane emissions from animals account for around a third of New Zealand’s emissions. The animal itself does not produce methane but rather a group of microbes, called methanogens, who live in the stomach (rumen), and produce methane mainly from hydrogen and carbon dioxide when digesting feed. The international team which involved researchers from AgResearch (New Zealand), the Universities of Otago (New Zealand), Monash (Australia), Illinois (USA) and Hokkaido (Japan) has for the first time identified the main rumen microbes and enzymes that both produce and consume that hydrogen.

The findings are important because scientists can now begin to target the supply of hydrogen to methanogens as a new way of reducing animal methane emissions. Work will now focus on screening specific compounds that can reduce the supply of hydrogen to the methane producers without compromising animal performance. Research will also seek to find ways to divert hydrogen away from methanogens towards other rumen microbes that do not make methane.

Leader of the research programme, AgResearch Principal Scientist Dr Graeme Attwood, said: “We’re really pleased about the progress in this research because it opens up a new approach to reducing livestock methane emissions. This is vital for New Zealand to meets its greenhouse gas emission targets under the Paris Agreement and to ensure the farming of ruminants is sustainable into the future”

An important feature of the programme is its strong international collaboration with leading laboratories around the world. The involvement of AgResearch scientists has been made possible by New Zealand Government support for the activities of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, a New Zealand initiated alliance of 57 countries committed to working together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.

Special Representative of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, Hayden Montgomery, said “This breakthrough has global relevance and again demonstrates the value of the Global Research Alliance in providing a platform to develop such research collaborations. Through well-co-ordinated and well-funded science, we increase the likelihood of developing practical solutions to reducing global livestock emissions”.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Marine And Freshwater Reports: EDS Calls For Urgent Action On Marine Management

“There are some big issues to address. These include many marine species and habitats that are in serious trouble. Of the sample investigated, the report finds that 22% of marine mammals, 90% of seabirds and 80% of shorebirds are threatened with or actually at risk of extinction..." More>>

ALSO:

$7.5 Billion Surplus: Government Accounts "Show Strong Economy"

“The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more on infrastructure and make record investments in health and education,” Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

New OIO Application Trumps Judicial Review: OceanaGold Cleared To Buy Land For Waihi Tailings Expansion

In a surprise turnaround, the government has given OceanaGold a greenlight to buy land to expand its Waihi mine after the application was previously turned down by Land Information Minister Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Christchurch Rebuild: Fletcher Sued For $7.5m Over Justice Precinct

Fletcher Building is being sued for $7.5 million by utilities contractor Electrix, one of the subcontractors on the Christchurch Justice and Emergency Services Precinct. More>>

Three New Drugs: PHARMAC Signs Bundle Deal For More Cancer Medicines

420 New Zealanders with lung cancer, breast cancer, multiple sclerosis and respiratory disease will benefit each year from a bundle deal PHARMAC has finalised with a medicine supplier. More>>

ALSO: