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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ASTRAGALUS AND OXYTROPIS POISONING IN LIVESTOCK Title: Detection of swainsonine and isolation of the endophyte Undifilum form the major locoweeds in Inner Mongolia

Authors
item Gao, Xinlei -
item Cook, Daniel
item Ralphs, Michael
item Yan, Ling -
item Gardner, Dale
item Lee, Stephen
item Panter, Kip
item Han, Bing -
item Zhao, Meng-Li -

Submitted to: Biochemical Systematics and Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Locoweeds are Astragalus and Oxytropis species that contain the toxic alkaloid swainsonine, causing widespread poisoning of livestock in Inner Mongolia. Taxa (Astragalus, Oxytropis, Sphaerophysa, and Sophora species) suspected of causing locoism and/or poisoning in Inner Mongolia were surveyed for swainsonine and the fungal endophyte responsible for the production of swainsonine. Swainsonine and the endophyte were detected in A. variabilis and O. glabra. PCR is more sensitive than culturing in detecting the endophyte. Additionally, contrary to previous reports the quinolizidine alkaloids, thermopsine, anagyrine, and lupanine, were not detected in O. glabra and O. ochrocephala, however the quinolizidine alkaloids, sophoridine, sophocarpine, and sophoramine were detected in Sophora alopecuroides as previously reported.

Technical Abstract: Locoweeds are Astragalus and Oxytropis species that contain the toxic alkaloid swainsonine, causing widespread poisoning of livestock in Inner Mongolia. Taxa (Astragalus, Oxytropis, Sphaerophysa, and Sophora species) suspected of causing locoism and/or poisoning in Inner Mongolia were surveyed for swainsonine and Undifilum, the fungal endophyte responsible for the production of swainsonine. Swainsonine was detected at concentrations greater than 0.01% in A. variabilis and O. glabra. The endophyte Undifilum was detected by culturing and PCR in samples containing swainsonine concentrations greater than 0.01%. In some specimens of A. variabilis and O. glabra swainsonine was not detected or concentrations were less than 0.01%. In these samples the endophyte could not be cultured, but was detected by PCR. Additionally, contrary to previous reports the quinolizidine alkaloids, thermopsine, anagyrine, and lupanine, were not detected in O. glabra and O. ochrocephala, however the quinolizidine alkaloids, sophoridine, sophocarpine, and sophoramine were detected in Sophora alopecuroides as previously reported.

Last Modified: 12/19/2014