Influence of dietary organic trace minerals on enteric methane emission and rumen microbiota of heat-stressed dairy steers

A-Rang Son1, Mahfuzul Islam1,2, Seon-Ho Kim1, Sung-Sill Lee3, Sang-Suk Lee1,*
Author Information & Copyright
1Ruminant Nutrition and Anaerobe Laboratory, Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University, Suncheon 57922, Korea.
2Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh.
3Institute of Agriculture and Life Science and University-Centered Laboratory, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52828, Korea.
*Corresponding Author: Sang-Suk Lee, Ruminant Nutrition and Anaerobe Laboratory, Department of Animal Science and Technology, Sunchon National University, Suncheon 57922, Korea, Republic of. Phone: +82-61-750-3237. E-mail:

© Copyright 2022 Korean Society of Animal Science and Technology. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Ruminants are the main contributors to methane (CH<sub>4</sub>), a greenhouse gas emitted by livestock, which leads to global warming. In addition, animals experience heat stress (HS) when exposed to high ambient temperatures. Organic trace minerals are commonly used to prevent the adverse effects of HS in ruminants; however, little is known about the role of these minerals in reducing enteric methane emissions. Hence, this study aimed to investigate the influence of dietary organic trace minerals on rumen fermentation characteristics, enteric methane emissions, and the composition of rumen bacteria and methanogens in heat-stressed dairy steers. Holstein (n=3) and Jersey (n=3) steers were kept separately within a 3×3 Latin square design, and the animals were exposed to HS conditions [Temperature-Humidity Index (THI), 82.79 ± 1.10]. For each experiment, the treatments included a Control (Con) consisting of only basal total mixed rations (TMR), National Research Council (NRC) recommended mineral supplementation group (NM) [TMR + (Se 0.1 ppm + Zn 30 ppm + Cu 10 ppm)/kg dry matter)], and higher concentration of mineral supplementation group (HM) [basal TMR + (Se 3.5 ppm + Zn 350 ppm + Cu 28 ppm<strong>)</strong>/kg dry matter]. Higher concentrations of trace mineral supplementation had no influence on methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) emissions and rumen bacterial and methanogen communities regardless of breed (<italic>p</italic>&gt;0.05). Holstein steers had higher ruminal pH and lower total volatile fatty acid (VFA concentrations than Jersey steers (<italic>P </italic>&lt;0.05). Methane production (g/d) and yield (g/kg dry matter intake) were higher in Jersey steers than in Holstein steers (<italic>P </italic>&lt;0.05). The relative abundances of <italic>Methanosarcina </italic>and <italic>Methanobrevibacter olleyae</italic> were significantly higher in Holstein steers than in Jersey steers (<italic>p</italic>&lt;0.05). Overall, dietary organic trace minerals have no influence on enteric methane emissions in heat-stressed dairy steers; however, breed can influence it through selective alteration of the rumen methanogen community.

Keywords: dietary minerals; enteric methane; heat stress; Holstein and Jersey steers; rumen methanogens