Preeti Raju

Doctor of Philosophy, (Microbiology & Genetics)
Study Completed: 2016
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Homoacetogenesis as an alternative hydrogen sink in the rumen

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ruminant livestock contribute significantly to global greenhouse gas emissions. Rumen microorganisms known as methanogens generate methane from hydrogen and carbon dioxide during microbial feed fermentation. Various methane mitigation strategies are being developed to reduce ruminant methane emissions. However, inhibiting methane production may cause accumulation of unused hydrogen in the rumen, which may slow down fermentation and affect animal productivity. Homoacetogens, a group of microbes known to reside in the rumen, can use hydrogen and carbon dioxide to form acetate, and could take over the role of ruminal hydrogen disposal following the inhibition of methanogens. Ms Raju’s research quantified the involvement of homoacetogens in ruminal hydrogen utilisation and she found that homoacetogenesis occurs in the ovine rumen and increases following inhibition of methane formation. In the future, knowledge of these hydrogen-utilising microorganisms could facilitate the transition from a normal methane-producing rumen to an equally or more productive low methane one.

Professor Jasna Rakonjac
Dr Peter Janssen
Dr Gemma Henderson
Dr Mike Tavendale