Modulating the microbiome for more environmentally friendly animal husbandry

With increasing awareness of climate change, there is now an urgent need for strategies to reduce our impact on the environment. Sustainable agricultural production is a goal for many who seek a healthy environment and efficient systems while ensuring profitability and food security. One of the ways in which ruminant livestock production systems negatively impact the environment is through methane production, a natural by-product of enteric fermentation. Methane is one of the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change and is produced by methanogenic archaea (methanogens) in the rumen.

Innovative approaches have been explored to reduce emissions from livestock, while numerous studies have sought to identify the sources of variation in methane production between animals. Specific microbial communities have been associated with greater methane emissions, while the concept of a “methane breeding value” was developed to enable the selection of low-emission animals for breeding. It is hoped that these strategies will complement other efforts to minimize the environmental impact of production, such as the practice of precision agriculture.

What BaseClear offers

BaseClear provides the metagenomics sequencing and bioinformatics technology needed to explore these innovative ideas and elucidate how the gut microbiome affects methane output, nitrogen utilization and feed efficiency. Harnessing this knowledge could lead to interventions which modulate the microbiome to better protect the environment, through changes in management practices, feed additives and genetic selection. With our expertise in study design and microbiome sampling and sequencing, we can support you from study conception to reporting, to help you create a healthier world.

Methane metabolism pipeline

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Meet Emma Hernandez-Sanabria!

With an international career spanning five countries, working in academia and for industry, Dr. Emma Hernandez-Sanabria brings a wide range of experience into her position as Product Manager in Animal Health and Performance. She combines knowledge about the microbiome of production animals with strong teamwork and mentoring skills to assist animal nutrition clients. Emma works in close collaboration with product managers and other stakeholders to develop products related to the microbiome of livestock. Microbial technologies offer distinctive opportunities for sustainable agriculture and livestock production. She explains: “The European Union has a major role to play in addressing global food and nutrition security. My experience in host-microbe interactions and with horticultural crops can support innovation to improve and safeguard animal health and welfare, thus promoting sustainability.”

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