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Glucose intolerance during pregnancy – a major driver of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) – has significant short- and long-term health consequences for both the mother and child. As GDM prevalence continues to escalate, there is growing need for preventative strategies. There is limited but suggestive evidence that myo-inositol (MI) and probiotics (PB) could improve glucose tolerance during pregnancy. The present study tested the hypothesis that MI and/or PB supplementation would reduce the risk of glucose intolerance during pregnancy. Female C57BL/6 mice were randomised to receive either no treatment, MI, PB (Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium lactis) or both (MIPB) for 5 weeks. They were then provided with a high-fat diet for 1 week before mating commenced and throughout mating/gestation, while remaining on their respective treatments. An oral glucose tolerance test occurred at gestational day (GD) 16·5 and tissue collection at GD 18·5. Neither MI nor PB, separately or combined, improved glucose tolerance. However, MI and PB both independently increased adipose tissue expression of Ir, Irs1, Akt2 and Pck1, and PB also increased Pparγ. MI was associated with reduced gestational weight gain, whilst PB was associated with increased maternal fasting glucose, total cholesterol and pancreas weight. These results suggest that MI and PB may improve insulin intracellular signalling in adipose tissue but this did not translate to meaningful differences in glucose tolerance. The absence of fasting hyperglycaemia or insulin resistance suggests this is a very mild model of GDM, which may have affected our ability to assess the impact of these nutrients.
The Colorado Twin Registry (CTR) is a population-based registry formed from birth and school records including twins born between 1968 and the present. Two previous reports on the CTR [Rhea et al., (2006). Twin Research and Human Genetics, 9, 941–949; Rhea et al., (2013).Twin Research and Human Genetics, 16, 351–357] covered developments in the CTR through 2012. This report briefly summarizes previously presented material on ascertainment and recruitment and the relationships between samples and studies, discusses developments since 2012 for four previously described twin samples, describes two new samples and their complementary studies and expands on two subjects briefly mentioned in the last report: a history of genotyping efforts involving CTR samples, and a survey of collaborations and consortia in which CTR twins have been included. The CTR remains an active resource for both ongoing, longitudinal research and the recruitment of new twin samples for newly identified research opportunities.
The Interplay of Genes and Environment across Multiple Studies (IGEMS) is a consortium of 18 twin studies from 5 different countries (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, United States, and Australia) established to explore the nature of gene–environment (GE) interplay in functioning across the adult lifespan. Fifteen of the studies are longitudinal, with follow-up as long as 59 years after baseline. The combined data from over 76,000 participants aged 14–103 at intake (including over 10,000 monozygotic and over 17,000 dizygotic twin pairs) support two primary research emphases: (1) investigation of models of GE interplay of early life adversity, and social factors at micro and macro environmental levels and with diverse outcomes, including mortality, physical functioning and psychological functioning; and (2) improved understanding of risk and protective factors for dementia by incorporating unmeasured and measured genetic factors with a wide range of exposures measured in young adulthood, midlife and later life.
The use of cover crops in soybean production systems has increased in recent years. There are many questions surrounding cover crops—specifically about benefits to crop production and most effective herbicides for spring termination. No studies evaluating cover crop termination have been conducted across a wide geographic area, to our knowledge. Therefore, field experiments were conducted in 2016 and 2017 in Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Wisconsin for spring termination of regionally specific cover crops. Glyphosate-, glufosinate-, and paraquat-containing treatments were applied between April 15 and April 29 in 2016 and April 10 and April 20 in 2017. Visible control of cover crops was determined 28 days after treatment. Glyphosate-containing herbicide treatments were more effective than paraquat- and glufosinate-containing treatments, providing 71% to 97% control across all site years. Specifically, glyphosate at 1.12 kg ha−1 applied alone or with 2,4-D at 0.56 kg ha−1, saflufenacil at 0.025 kg ha−1, or clethodim at 0.56 kg ha−1 provided the most effective control on all grass cover crop species. Glyphosate-, paraquat-, or glufosinate-containing treatments were generally most effective on broadleaf cover crop species when applied with 2,4-D or dicamba. Results from this research indicate that proper herbicide selection is crucial to successfully terminate cover crops in the spring.
Children with congenital heart disease are at high risk for malnutrition. Standardisation of feeding protocols has shown promise in decreasing some of this risk. With little standardisation between institutions’ feeding protocols and no understanding of protocol adherence, it is important to analyse the efficacy of individual aspects of the protocols.
Adherence to and deviation from a feeding protocol in high-risk congenital heart disease patients between December 2015 and March 2017 were analysed. Associations between adherence to and deviation from the protocol and clinical outcomes were also assessed. The primary outcome was change in weight-for-age z score between time intervals.
Increased adherence to and decreased deviation from individual instructions of a feeding protocol improves patients change in weight-for-age z score between birth and hospital discharge (p = 0.031). Secondary outcomes such as markers of clinical severity and nutritional delivery were not statistically different between groups with high or low adherence or deviation rates.
High-risk feeding protocol adherence and fewer deviations are associated with weight gain independent of their influence on nutritional delivery and caloric intake. Future studies assessing the efficacy of feeding protocols should include the measures of adherence and deviations that are not merely limited to caloric delivery and illness severity.
In recent years, the use of cover crops has increased in U.S. crop production systems. An important aspect of successful cover crop establishment is the preceding crop and herbicide program, because some herbicides have the potential to persist in the soil for several months. Few studies have been conducted to evaluate the sensitivity of cover crops to common residual herbicides used in soybean production. The same field experiment was conducted in 2016 in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, and repeated in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, and Missouri in 2017 to evaluate the potential of residual soybean herbicides to carryover and reduce cover crop establishment. Herbicides applied during the soybean growing season included acetochlor; acetochlor plus fomesafen; chlorimuron plus thifensulfuron; fomesafen; fomesafen plus S-metolachlor followed by acetochlor; imazethapyr; pyroxasulfone; S-metolachlor; S-metolachlor plus fomesafen; sulfentrazone plus S-metolachlor; sulfentrazone plus S-metolachlor followed by fomesafen plus S-metolachlor; and sulfentrazone plus S-metolachlor followed by fomesafen plus S-metolachlor followed by acetochlor. Across all herbicide treatments, the sensitivity of cover crops to herbicide residues in the fall, from greatest to least, was forage radish = turnip > annual ryegrass = winter oat = triticale > cereal rye = Austrian winter pea = hairy vetch = wheat > crimson clover. Fomesafen (applied 21 and 42 days after planting [(DAP]); chlorimuron plus thifensulfuron and pyroxasulfone applied 42 DAP; sulfentrazone plus S-metolachlor followed by fomesafen plus S-metolachlor; and sulfentrazone plus S-metolachlor followed by fomesafen plus S-metolachlor followed by acetochlor caused the highest visual ground cover reduction to cover crop species at the fall rating. Study results indicate cover crops are most at risk when following herbicide applications in soybean containing certain active ingredients such as fomesafen, but overall there is a fairly low risk of cover crop injury from residual soybean herbicides applied in the previous soybean crop.
Chemical weed control remains a widely used component of integrated weed management strategies because of its cost-effectiveness and rapid removal of crop pests. Additionally, dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixtures are a commonly recommended herbicide combination to combat herbicide resistance, specifically in recently commercially released dicamba-tolerant soybean and cotton. However, increased spray drift concerns and antagonistic interactions require that the application process be optimized to maximize biological efficacy while minimizing environmental contamination potential. Field research was conducted in 2016, 2017, and 2018 across three locations (Mississippi, Nebraska, and North Dakota) for a total of six site-years. The objectives were to characterize the efficacy of a range of droplet sizes [150 µm (Fine) to 900 µm (Ultra Coarse)] using a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture and to create novel weed management recommendations utilizing pulse-width modulation (PWM) sprayer technology. Results across pooled site-years indicated that a droplet size of 395 µm (Coarse) maximized weed mortality from a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture at 94 L ha–1. However, droplet size could be increased to 620 µm (Extremely Coarse) to maintain 90% of the maximum weed mortality while further mitigating particle drift potential. Although generalized droplet size recommendations could be created across site-years, optimum droplet sizes within each site-year varied considerably and may be dependent on weed species, geographic location, weather conditions, and herbicide resistance(s) present in the field. The precise, site-specific application of a dicamba-plus-glyphosate mixture using the results of this research will allow applicators to more effectively utilize PWM sprayers, reduce particle drift potential, maintain biological efficacy, and reduce the selection pressure for the evolution of herbicide-resistant weeds.
The prevalence of sleep problems among pregnant women is over 50%, and daytime sleepiness is among the most common sleep problems. Previous studies have associated antenatal sleep problems with adverse maternal health and neonatal outcomes, but the consequences of antenatal sleep problems and particularly daytime sleepiness on child psychological development have not been assessed prospectively.
In this prospective cohort study including 111 mother-child dyads, we examined the associations of maternal daytime sleepiness during pregnancy, assessed at 17 and 28 weeks of gestation using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, with child neuropsychiatric problems and neuropsychological development, assessed with mother-rated questionnaires and individually administered neuropsychological tests, at child age 2.6–5.7 years (mean = 4.3 years).
Independently of sociodemographic and perinatal covariates and maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms during and/or after pregnancy, maternal antenatal daytime sleepiness was associated with increased total [unstandardized regression coefficient (B) = 0.25 standard deviation (s.d.) units; 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.01–0.48] and internalizing (B = 0.25 s.d.s: 95% CI 0.01–0.49) psychiatric problems and ADHD symptoms (B = 0.27 s.d.s: 95% CI 0.04–0.50) in children, and with poorer executive function, particularly in the areas of attention, working memory and inhibitory control (B = −0.39 s.d.s: 95% CI −0.69 to −0.10).
Maternal antenatal daytime sleepiness carries adverse consequences for offspring psychological development. The assessment of sleep problems may be an important addition to standard antenatal care.
The particle size of the forage has been proposed as a key factor to ensure a healthy rumen function and maintain dairy cow performance, but little work has been conducted on ryegrass silage (GS). To determine the effect of chop length of GS and GS:maize silage (MS) ratio on the performance, reticular pH, metabolism and eating behaviour of dairy cows, 16 multiparous Holstein-Friesian cows were used in a 4×4 Latin square design with four periods each of 28-days duration. Ryegrass was harvested and ensiled at two mean chop lengths (short and long) and included at two ratios of GS:MS (100:0 or 40:60 dry matter (DM) basis). The forages were fed in mixed rations to produce four isonitrogenous and isoenergetic diets: long chop GS, short chop GS, long chop GS and MS and short chop GS and MS. The DM intake (DMI) was 3.2 kg/day higher (P<0.001) when cows were fed the MS than the GS-based diets. The short chop length GS also resulted in a 0.9 kg/day DM higher (P<0.05) DMI compared with the long chop length. When fed the GS:MS-based diets, cows produced 2.4 kg/day more (P<0.001) milk than when fed diets containing GS only. There was an interaction (P<0.05) between chop length and forage ratio for milk yield, with a short chop length GS increasing yield in cows fed GS but not MS-based diets. An interaction for DM and organic matter digestibility was also observed (P<0.05), where a short chop length GS increased digestibility in cows when fed the GS-based diets but had little effect when fed the MS-based diet. When fed the MS-based diets, cows spent longer at reticular pH levels below pH 6.2 and pH 6.5 (P<0.01), but chop length had little effect. Cows when fed the MS-based diets had a higher (P<0.05) milk fat concentration of C18 : 2n-6 and total polyunsaturated fatty acids compared with when fed the GS only diets. In conclusion, GS chop length had little effect on reticular pH, but a longer chop length reduced DMI and milk yield but had little effect on milk fat yield. Including MS reduced reticular pH, but increased DMI and milk performance irrespective of the GS chop length.
Knowledge of the effects of burial depth and burial duration on seed viability and, consequently, seedbank persistence of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) and waterhemp [Amaranthus tuberculatus (Moq.) J. D. Sauer] ecotypes can be used for the development of efficient weed management programs. This is of particular interest, given the great fecundity of both species and, consequently, their high seedbank replenishment potential. Seeds of both species collected from five different locations across the United States were investigated in seven states (sites) with different soil and climatic conditions. Seeds were placed at two depths (0 and 15 cm) for 3 yr. Each year, seeds were retrieved, and seed damage (shrunken, malformed, or broken) plus losses (deteriorated and futile germination) and viability were evaluated. Greater seed damage plus loss averaged across seed origin, burial depth, and year was recorded for lots tested at Illinois (51.3% and 51.8%) followed by Tennessee (40.5% and 45.1%) and Missouri (39.2% and 42%) for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. The site differences for seed persistence were probably due to higher volumetric water content at these sites. Rates of seed demise were directly proportional to burial depth (α=0.001), whereas the percentage of viable seeds recovered after 36 mo on the soil surface ranged from 4.1% to 4.3% compared with 5% to 5.3% at the 15-cm depth for A. palmeri and A. tuberculatus, respectively. Seed viability loss was greater in the seeds placed on the soil surface compared with the buried seeds. The greatest influences on seed viability were burial conditions and time and site-specific soil conditions, more so than geographical location. Thus, management of these weed species should focus on reducing seed shattering, enhancing seed removal from the soil surface, or adjusting tillage systems.
It is known that supplementing dairy cow diets with full-fat oilseeds can be used as a strategy to mitigate methane emissions, through their action on rumen fermentation. However, direct comparisons of the effect of different oil sources are very few, as are studies implementing supplementation levels that reflect what is commonly fed on commercial farms. The objective was to investigate the effect of feeding different forms of supplemental plant oils on both methane emissions and milk fatty acid (FA) profile. Four multiparous, Holstein-Friesian cows in mid-lactation were randomly allocated to one of four treatment diets in a 4×4 Latin square design with 28-day periods. Diets were fed as a total mixed ration with a 50 : 50 forage : concentrate ratio (dry matter (DM) basis) with the forage consisting of 75 : 25 maize silage : grass silage (DM). Dietary treatments were a control diet containing no supplemental fat, and three treatment diets containing extruded linseed (EL), calcium salts of palm and linseed oil (CPLO) or milled rapeseed (MR) formulated to provide each cow with an estimated 500 g additional oil/day (22 g oil/kg diet DM). Dry matter intake (DMI), milk yield, milk composition and methane production were measured at the end of each experimental period when cows were housed in respiration chambers for 4 days. There was no effect of treatment diet on DMI or milk protein or lactose concentration, but oilseed-based supplements increased milk yield compared with the control diet and milk fat concentration relative to control was reduced by 4 g/kg by supplemental EL. Feeding CPLO reduced methane production, and both linseed-based supplements decreased methane yield (by 1.8 l/kg DMI) and intensity (by 2.7 l/kg milk yield) compared with the control diet, but feeding MR had no effect on methane emission. All the fat supplements decreased milk total saturated fatty acid (SFA) concentration compared with the control, and SFA were replaced with mainly cis-9 18:1 but also trans FA (and in the case of EL and CPLO there were increases in polyunsaturated FA concentration). Supplementing dairy cow diets with these oilseed-based preparations affected milk FA profile and increased milk yield. However, only the linseed-based supplements reduced methane production, yield or intensity, whereas feeding MR had no effect.
We report the results of Long Baseline Array observations made in 2001 of ten southern sources proposed by Mattox et al. as counterparts to EGRET >100 MeV gamma-ray sources. Source structures are compared with published data where available and possible superluminal motions identified in several cases. The associations are examined in the light of Fermi observations, indicating that the confirmed counterparts tend to have radio properties consistent with other identifications, including flat radio spectral index, high brightness temperature, greater radio variability, and higher core dominance.
The objective was to assess the effects of inclusion rate and chop length of lucerne silage, when fed in a total mixed ration (TMR), on milk yield, dry matter (DM) intake (DMI) and digestion in dairy cows. Diets were formulated to contain a 50 : 50 ratio of forage : concentrate (DM basis) and to be isonitrogenous (170 g/kg CP). The forage portion of the offered diets was comprised of maize and lucerne silage in proportions (DM basis) of either 25 : 75 (high Lucerne (HL)) or 75 : 25 (low lucerne (LL)). Lucerne was harvested and conserved as silage at either a long (L) or short (S) chop length. These variables were combined in a 2×2 factorial arrangement to give four treatments (HLL, HLS, LLL, LLS) which were fed in a Latin square design study to Holstein dairy cows in two separate experiments. In total, 16 and 8 multiparous, mid-lactation cows were used in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. To ensure sufficient silage for both experiments, different cuts of lucerne silage (taken from the same sward) were used for each experiment: first cut for experiment 1 (which was of poorer quality) and second cut for experiment 2. Dry matter intake, milk yield and milk composition where measured in both experiments, and total tract digestibility and nitrogen (N) balance were assessed using four cows in experiment 2. In experiment 1, cows fed LL had increased DMI (+3.2 kg/day), compared with those fed HL. In contrast, there was no difference in DMI due to lucerne silage inclusion rate in experiment 2. A reduction in milk yield was observed with the HL treatment in both experiment 1 and 2 (−3.0 and −2.9 kg/day, respectively). The HL diet had reduced digestibility of DM and organic matter (OM) (−3% and −4%, respectively), and also reduced the efficiency of intake N conversion into milk N (−4%). The S chop length increased total tract digestibility of DM and OM (both +4%), regardless of inclusion rate. Inclusion of lucerne silage at 25% of forage DM increased milk yield relative to 75% inclusion, but a S chop length partially mitigated adverse effects of HL on DMI and milk yield in experiment 1 and on DM digestibility in experiment 2.
Elevated birth weight is linked to glucose intolerance and obesity health-related complications later in life. No studies have examined if infant birth weight is associated with gene expression markers of obesity and inflammation in a tissue that comes directly from the infant following birth. We evaluated the association between birth weight and gene expression on fetal programming of obesity. Foreskin samples were collected following circumcision, and gene expression analyzed comparing the 15% greatest birth weight infants (n=7) v. the remainder of the cohort (n=40). Multivariate linear regression models were fit to relate expression levels on differentially expressed genes to birth weight group with adjustment for variables selected from a list of maternal and infant characteristics. Glucose transporter type 4 (GLUT4), insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2), leptin receptor (LEPR), lipoprotein lipase (LPL), low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1), matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP2), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) were significantly upregulated and histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and thioredoxin (TXN) downregulated in the larger birth weight neonates v. controls. Multivariate modeling revealed that the estimated adjusted birth weight group difference exceeded one standard deviation of the expression level for eight of the 10 genes. Between 25 and 50% of variation in expression level was explained by multivariate modeling for eight of the 10 genes. Gene expression related to glycemic control, appetite/energy balance, obesity and inflammation were altered in tissue from babies with elevated birth weight, and these genes may provide important information regarding fetal programming in macrosomic babies.
We present results from a multiwavelength study of the blazar PKS 1954–388 at radio, UV, X-ray, and gamma-ray energies. A RadioAstron observation at 1.66 GHz in June 2012 resulted in the detection of interferometric fringes on baselines of 6.2 Earth-diameters. This suggests a source frame brightness temperature of greater than 2 × 1012 K, well in excess of both equipartition and inverse Compton limits and implying the existence of Doppler boosting in the core. An 8.4-GHz TANAMI VLBI image, made less than a month after the RadioAstron observations, is consistent with a previously reported superluminal motion for a jet component. Flux density monitoring with the Australia Telescope Compact Array confirms previous evidence for long-term variability that increases with observing frequency. A search for more rapid variability revealed no evidence for significant day-scale flux density variation. The ATCA light-curve reveals a strong radio flare beginning in late 2013, which peaks higher, and earlier, at higher frequencies. Comparison with the Fermi gamma-ray light-curve indicates this followed ~ 9 months after the start of a prolonged gamma-ray high-state—a radio lag comparable to that seen in other blazars. The multiwavelength data are combined to derive a Spectral Energy Distribution, which is fitted by a one-zone synchrotron-self-Compton (SSC) model with the addition of external Compton (EC) emission.
Persistent complex bereavement disorder (PCBD) is a protracted form of grief included in DSM Section 3 indicating a need for more research. Two other criteria sets [prolonged grief disorder (PGD) and complicated grief (CG) disorder] are also currently in use by researchers. This study evaluates rates of diagnosis of each proposed criteria set in a clinical sample of bereaved individuals participating in clinical research.
Two groups in which persistent grief was judged to be present or absent completed an assessment instrument that included items needed to diagnose PCBD as well as PGD and CG. One group included grief treatment-seeking participants in our multicenter National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)-sponsored study who scored ⩾30 on the Inventory of Complicated Grief (ICG) and the other comprised bereaved adults enrolled in clinical research studies who scored <20 on the ICG. Rates of diagnosis were determined for proposed PCBD, PGD and CG criteria.
PCBD criteria diagnosed 70 [95% confidence interval (CI) 64.2–75.8] % of the grief treatment-seeking group, PGD criteria identified 59.6 (95% CI 53.4–65.8) % of these individuals and CG criteria identified 99.6 (95% CI 98.8–100.0) %. None of the three proposed criteria identified any cases in the bereaved comparison group.
Both proposed DSM-5 criteria for PCBD and criteria for PGD appear to be too restrictive as they failed to identify substantial numbers of treatment-seeking individuals with clinically significant levels of grief-related distress and impairment. Use of CG criteria or a similar algorithm appears to be warranted.
Prenatal maternal obesity has been linked to adverse childhood neuropsychiatric outcomes, including increased symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), internalizing and externalizing problems, affective disorders and neurodevelopmental problems but few studies have studied neuropsychiatric outcomes among offspring born to very severely obese women or assessed potential familial confounding by maternal psychological distress.
We evaluated neuropsychiatric symptoms in 112 children aged 3–5 years whose mothers had participated in a longitudinal study of obesity in pregnancy (50 very severe obesity, BMI ⩾40 kg/m2, obese class III and 62 lean, BMI 18.5–25 kg/m2). The mothers completed the Conners’ Hyperactivity Scale, Early Symptomatic Syndrome Eliciting Neurodevelopmental Clinical Examination Questionnaire (ESSENCE-Q), Child's Sleep Habits Questionnaire (CSHQ), Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) to assess child neuropsychiatric symptoms. Covariates included child's sex, age, birthweight, gestational age, socioeconomic deprivation levels, maternal age, parity, smoking status during pregnancy, gestational diabetes and maternal concurrent symptoms of anxiety and depression assessed using State Anxiety of Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Index (STAI) and General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), respectively.
Children exposed to prenatal maternal very severe obesity had significantly higher scores in the Conners’ Hyperactivity Scale; ESSENCE-Q; total sleep problems in CSHQ; hyperactivity, conduct problems and total difficulties scales of the SDQ; higher externalizing and total problems, anxious/depressed, aggressive behaviour and other problem syndrome scores and higher DSM-oriented affective, anxiety and ADHD problems in CBCL. Prenatal maternal very severe obesity remained a significant predictor of child neuropsychiatric problems across multiple scales independent of demographic factors, prenatal factors and maternal concurrent symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Prenatal maternal very severe obesity is a strong predictor of increased neuropsychiatric problems in early childhood.
We describe the performance of the Boolardy Engineering Test Array, the prototype for the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder telescope. Boolardy Engineering Test Array is the first aperture synthesis radio telescope to use phased array feed technology, giving it the ability to electronically form up to nine dual-polarisation beams. We report the methods developed for forming and measuring the beams, and the adaptations that have been made to the traditional calibration and imaging procedures in order to allow BETA to function as a multi-beam aperture synthesis telescope. We describe the commissioning of the instrument and present details of Boolardy Engineering Test Array’s performance: sensitivity, beam characteristics, polarimetric properties, and image quality. We summarise the astronomical science that it has produced and draw lessons from operating Boolardy Engineering Test Array that will be relevant to the commissioning and operation of the final Australian Square Kilometre Array Path telescope.
Enteric methane (CH4) production is a side-effect of herbivore digestion, but it is unknown whether CH4 itself influences digestive physiology. We investigated the effect of adding CH4 to, or reducing it in, the reticulorumen (RR) in a 4×4 Latin square experiment with rumen-fistulated, non-lactating cows, with four treatments: (i) control, (ii) insufflation of CH4 (iCH4), (iii) N via rumen fistula, (iv) reduction of CH4 via administration of bromochloromethane (BCM). DM intake (DMI), apparent total tract digestibility, digesta mean retention times (MRT), rumen motility and chewing activity, spot breath CH4 emission (CH4exhal, litre/kg DMI) as well as CH4 dissolved in rumen fluid (CH4RRf, µg/ml) were measured. Data were analysed using mixed models, including treatment (or, alternatively, CH4exhal or CH4RRf) and DMI relative to body mass0·85 (rDMI) as covariates. rDMI was the lowest on the BCM treatment. CH4exhal was highest for iCH4 and lowest for BCM treatments, whereas only BCM affected (reduced) CH4RRf. After adjusting for rDMI, CH4RRf had a negative association with MRT in the gastrointestinal tract but not in the RR, and negative associations with fibre digestibility and measures of rumination activity. Adjusting for rDMI, CH4exhal had additionally a negative association with particle MRT in the RR and a positive association with rumen motility. Thus, higher rumen levels of CH4 (CH4exhal or CH4RRf) were associated with shorter MRT and increased motility. These findings are tentatively interpreted as a feedback mechanism in the ruminant digestive tract that aims at mitigating CH4 losses by shortening MRT at higher CH4.
Supplementing dairy cow diets with oilseed preparations has been shown to replace milk saturated fatty acids (SFA) with mono- and/or polyunsaturated fatty acids (MUFA, PUFA), which may reduce risk factors associated with cardio-metabolic diseases in humans consuming milk and dairy products. Previous studies demonstrating this are largely detailed, highly controlled experiments involving small numbers of animals, but in order to transfer this feeding strategy to commercial situations further studies are required involving whole herds varying in management practices. In experiment 1, three oilseed supplements (extruded linseed (EL), calcium salts of palm and linseed oil (CPLO) and milled rapeseed (MR)) were included in grass silage-based diets formulated to provide cows with ~350 g oil/day, and compared with a negative control (Control) diet containing no supplemental fat, and a positive control diet containing 350 g/cow per day oil as calcium salt of palm oil distillate (CPO). Diets were fed for 28-day periods in a 5×4 Latin Square design, and milk production, composition and fatty acid (FA) profile were analysed at the end of each period. Compared with Control, all lipid supplemented diets decreased milk fat SFA concentration by an average of 3.5 g/100 g FA, by replacement with both cis- and trans-MUFA/PUFA. Compared with CPO, only CPLO and MR resulted in lower milk SFA concentrations. In experiment 2, 24 commercial dairy farms (average herd size±SEM 191±19.3) from the south west of the United Kingdom were recruited and for a 1 month period asked to supplement their herd diets with either CPO, EL, CPLO or MR at the same inclusion level as the first study. Bulk tank milk was analysed weekly to determine FA concentration by Fourier Transform mid-IR spectroscopy prediction. After 4 weeks, EL, CPLO and MR all decreased herd milk SFA and increased MUFA to a similar extent (average −3.4 and +2.4 g/100 g FA, respectively) when compared with CPO. Differing responses observed between experiments 1 and 2 may be due in part to variations in farm management conditions (including basal diet) in experiment 2. This study demonstrates the importance of applying experimental research into commercial practice where variations in background conditions can augment different effects to those obtained under controlled conditions.