Type: Book

Improving rumen function


Dr Chris McSweeney is Chief Research Scientist at CSIRO, Australia, and is internationally-renowned for his research in ruminant gut microbiology and its implications for nutrition and livestock emissions.

Dr Rod Mackie is Professor of Microbiology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA. Professor Mackie is a leading expert on microbial ecology in the ruminant gut and its impact on nutrition and health, as well as the use of bacteria in bioenergy applications.



Publication date:

23 June 2020

Length of book:

520 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786763327

Hardback - £190.00
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Major advances in analytical techniques and genomics have transformed our understanding of rumen microbiology. This understanding is of critical importance to livestock production since rumen function affects nutritional efficiency, emissions from ruminants (such as methane and nitrous oxide) as well as animal health. This collection reviews what we know about rumen microbiota and the role of nutritional strategies in optimising their function for more sustainable livestock production.

Part 1 summarises advances in understanding colonisation by rumen microbiota as well as advanced methods for analysing the rumen microbiome. Part 2 reviews recent research on the role of different types of rumen microbiota such as archaea, anaerobic fungi, viruses and the rumen wall microbial community. Part 3 discusses the way the rumen processes nutrients such as fibre and protein as well as outputs such as energy, lipids and methane emissions. Part 4 explores nutritional strategies to optimise rumen function, including the role of pasture, silage, cereal feed, plant secondary compounds and probiotics.

Key features

  • Reviews advances in understanding the role of different types of rumen microbiota such as archea, anaerobic fungi, viruses and the rumen wall microbial community
  • Covers both the way the rumen processes fibre and protein and factors affecting outputs such as energy (affecting animal health), lipids (affecting meat and milk quality) and methane emissions (affecting environmental impact)
  • Comprehensive review of the range of nutritional strategies to optimise rumen function such as the role of pasture, silage, cereal feed, plant secondary compounds and probiotics.

What others are saying...

"An up-to-date reference text on the ruminal microbiota and its function is long overdue. The proposed volume will fill the gap admirably."
Emeritus Professor John Wallace, University of Aberdeen, UK

Table of contents

1.Colonisation and establishment of the rumen microbiota –opportunities to influence productivity and methane emissions: Diego Morgavi, INRA, France;

Part 1 Tools to understand the ruminal microbiome
2.New approaches to cultivating the uncultivated: isolating novel microbes in the rumen: Paraic O'Cuiv, University of Queensland, Australia;
3.Rumen metabolomic functional analysis: Tom O'Callaghan, Teagasc, Ireland;
4.A conceptual approach to mathematical modelling of rumen microbial populations and their function: André Bannink, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Part 2 The rumen microbiota
5.Rumen bacteria (The Hungate 1000) and other rumen genomes: Chris Creevey, Queen’s University of Belfast, UK;
6.Rumen archaea: Graeme Attwood, AgResearch, New Zealand;
7.Ruminal ciliated protozoa: Sharon Huws, Queen’s University of Belfast, UK;
8.Ruminal anaerobic fungi: Matthias Hess, University of California-Davis, USA;
9.Ruminal viruses and extrachromosomal genetic elements: Rosalind Gilbert, DAFF-Queensland, Australia;
10.The rumen wall microbial community: Leluo Guan, University of Alberta, Canada;

Part 3 Nutrient processing in the rumen and host interactions
11.Ruminal fibre digestion: Phil Pope, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway;
12.Ruminal protein breakdown and ammonia assimilation: Jeff Firkins, Ohio State University, USA;
13.Energy yielding pathways in the rumen: Emilio Ungerfeld, Científico Nutrición de Rumiantes - INIA, Chile;
14.Lipid metabolism to enhance fatty acid for human health: Veerle Fievez, University of Ghent, Belgium;
15.Factors affecting methane production in the rumen: Tim McAllister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada;
16.Host-rumen microbiome interactions and influences on FCE, methane production and other productivity traits: Itzhak Mizrahi, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel;
17.The influence of the rumen on immune function: Qendrim Zebeli, University of Veterinary Medicine, Austria;

Part 4 Nutritional strategies to optimise ruminal function
18.Optimising ruminal function: the role of pasture: Sinead Waters, Teagasc, Ireland;
19.Optimising ruminal function: the role of silage/concentrates: Aila Vanhatalo, University of Helsinki, Finland;
20.The use of feedlot/cereal grains: Todd Callaway, University of Georgia, USA;
21.Plant secondary compounds: Their role in ruminant nutrition and productivity: David Yanez-Ruiz, CSIC, Spain;
22.The use of probiotics as supplements: Frederique Chaucheyras-Durand, INRA, France; ;