Amino acids metabolism by rumen microorganisms: Nutrition and ecology strategies to reduce nitrogen emissions from the inside to the outside

Peng Tan, Han Liu, Jing Zhao, Xueling Gu, Xiaobing Wei, Xiaojian Zhang, Ning Ma, Lee J. Johnston, Yueyu Bai, Wenju Zhang, Cunxi Nie, Xi Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


For the ruminant animal industry, the emission of nitrogenous substances, such as nitrous oxide (N2O) and ammonia (NH3), not only challenges environmental sustainability but also restricts its development. The metabolism of proteins and amino acids by rumen microorganisms is a key factor affecting nitrogen (N) excretion in ruminant animals. Rumen microorganisms that affect N excretion mainly include three types: proteolytic and peptidolytic bacteria (PPB), ureolytic bacteria (UB), and hyper-ammonia-producing bacteria (HAB). Microbes residing in the rumen, however, are influenced by several complex factors, such as diet, which results in fluctuations in the rumen metabolism of proteins and amino acids and ultimately affects N emission. Combining feed nutrition strategies (including ingredient adjustment and feed additives) and ecological mitigation strategies of N2O and NH3 in industrial practice can reduce the emission of nitrogenous pollutants from the ruminant breeding industry. In this review, the characteristics of the rumen microbial community related to N metabolism in ruminants were used as the metabolic basis. Furthermore, an effective strategy to increase N utilisation efficiency in combination with nutrition and ecology was reviewed to provide an inside-out approach to reduce N emissions from ruminants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number149596
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Early online dateAug 11 2021
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China ( 31930106 , 31829004 , and 31722054 ), the National Key Research and Development Program of China ( 2018YFD0500601 and 2017YFD0500501 ), the National Ten-thousand Talents Program of China ( 23070201 ), the 111 Project ( B16044 ) and the High Level Talent Research Start-up Project of Shihezi University ( RCZK201943 ). Our profound admiration and respect go to researchers in this field and our laboratories, for their dedication and hard work. We apologize to scientists whose work is in this field if their papers are not cited owing to space limitations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Elsevier B.V.


  • Amino acids metabolism
  • Ecology
  • Feed nutrition
  • N emissions
  • Rumen microorganism
  • Ruminant

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review


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