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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: THE TOXICITY OF PYRROLIZIDINE ALKALOID-CONTAINING PLANTS AND OTHER HEPATOTOXIC AND NEUROTOXIC PLANTS

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Isolation, Characterization, and Quantification of Steroidal Saponins in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.)

Authors
item Lee, Stephen
item Mitchell, Robert
item Wang, Zhirui -
item Heiss, Christian -
item Gardner, Dale
item Azadi, Parastoo -

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: February 4, 2009
Publication Date: February 25, 2009
Repository URL: http://www.pprl.ars.usda.gov
Citation: Lee, S.T., Mitchell, R., Wang, Z., Heiss, C., Gardner, D.R., Azadi, P. 2009. Isolation, Characterization, and Quantification of Steroidal Saponins in Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 57(6):2599-2604. DOI: 10.1021/jf803907y

Interpretive Summary: Switchgrass has been identified for development into an efficient and environment friendly biomass energy crop. A recent five-year study demonstrated that switchgrass grown for biofuel production produced 540 percent more energy than what is needed to grow, harvest and process it into cellulosic ethanol. If switchgrass is grown on a scale useful for a bio-energy source, some of the material could be used by livestock as hay or pasture. Switchgrass has been reported to cause photosensitization in lambs and horses. In this study, a method was developed for quantifying the major saponins in switchgrass samples. Differences in the relative concentration of different saponins were observed between switchgrass cultivars and plant parts.

Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been identified for development into an efficient and environment friendly biomass energy crop. A recent five-year study demonstrated that switchgrass grown for biofuel production produced 540 percent more energy than what is needed to grow, harvest and process it into cellulosic ethanol. If switchgrass is grown on a scale useful for a bio-energy source, some of the material could be used by livestock as hay or pasture. Switchgrass has been reported to cause hepatogenous photosensitization in lambs (Ovis aries) and horses (Equus caballus). In this study, a simple extraction and rapid reversed phase HPLC-ESI-MS method was developed for quantifying the major saponins in switchgrass samples. Differences in the relative concentration of different saponins were observed between switchgrass cultivars and plant parts.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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