ILVO Newsletter May 2018

Hot off the press

Methane emission in cattle: can a rumen flora transplant reduce emissions?

methane emission in cattleFor the first time anywhere, in the framework of our climate research, ILVO has transplanted the rumen microbiome from one cow to another. Individual cows produce a different amount of methane, even when eating the same feed. This could possibly be explained by differences in the rumen microbiome, and thus the methane emissions could possibly be influenced, based on analogy with transplants of faecal intestinal flora in humans. “Unfortunately, the methane producers within the total population of present micro-organisms remained stable for all the cows. Other kinds of bacteria did change after the flora-transfer, however”, says ILVO-Ghent University researcher Thijs De Mulder at the end of his doctoral studies. The results of this research provide further direction for the methane-reducing research strategies in cattle farming.

Program Water-Land-Scape: 14 initiatives selected

Water-Land-ScapeTo join together to find solutions to water problems in rural areas: that is the mission of Water-Land-Scape. The program team, including ILVO, selected 14 projects out of 40 proposals that will be developed further as a land-oriented project.

Research on erosion control during a year with extreme drought: GOMEROS 2017

Gomeros - research on erosionIn 2017, the GOMEROS project further optimized cultivation techniques that could prevent erosion in vegetables and maize while retaining crop yield. Despite the drought in 2017, rain simulations were used to successfully evaluate the effect of a number of techniques to fight against erosion.

Tracking antibiotic resistance in pigs: genomic and classic methods must be combined

tracking antibiotica resistance in pigsThe idea that human and animal health depends to a large extend on the microbial community in the digestive system (the “intestinal microbiome”) is growing. This microbiome can now be mapped using new metagenomics techniques. ILVO-Ghent University researcher Thijs de Mulder investigated whether the techniques could also be used to study antibiotic resistance in the pig sector. According to his tests, antibiotic resistance is difficult to detect using metagenomics, and classic methods are still indispensable.

Ready, set, go!

Interactive maps of fishery hotspots and all the applicable rules: GEOVIS

GeovisWhere can we still fish in the future? How many fishing grounds will be lost due to development of wind farms, nature preserves and other activities on the North Sea? And what are we doing to protect the sole spawning grounds? These questions form the core of the GEOVIS project, in which we create an online, interactive platform to inform the sector about the spatial organization of maritime activities at sea and how those developments affect them.

Optimal fertilization strategies for organic farming, within the framework of the fertilization action plan (MAP)

fertilizationThrough a scientific and participatory trajectory, ILVO, Inagro, Pcfruit, Ghent University and the ‘Bodemkundige Dienst’ (soil science service) work together on an optimal fertilization strategy for the organic farming, within the framework of fertilization regulations. The ultimate goal is to identify soil management strategies that provide sufficient carbon and nitrogen for a limited external supply of phosphorus. The new, 4-year project is being carried out on behalf of the Flemish Land Agency (VLM).