Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Swainsonine-containing plants and their relationship to endophytic fungi

Authors
item Cook, Daniel
item Gardner, Dale
item Pfister, James

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 23, 2014
Publication Date: July 30, 2014
Citation: Cook, D., Gardner, D.R., Pfister, J.A. 2014. Swainsonine-containing plants and their relationship to endophytic fungi. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 62(30):7326-7334.

Interpretive Summary: Swainsonine is an alkaloid with significant physiological activity. Swainsonine is present in a number of plant species worldwide and causes severe toxicosis in livestock grazing these plants. Consumption of these plants by grazing animals leads to a chronic wasting disease characterized by weight loss, depression, altered behavior, decreased libido, infertility, and death. This review focuses on: the three plant families and the associated taxa that contain swainsonine; the fungi that produce swainsonine, specifically the fungal endophytes associated with swainsonine-containing taxa; studies investigating the plant, endophyte, and swainsonine relationship; the influence of environmental factors on swainsonine concentrations in planta; and areas of future research.

Technical Abstract: Swainsonine, an indolizidine alkaloid with significant physiological activity, is an a-mannosidase and mannosidase II inhibitor that alters glycoprotein processing and causes lysosomal storage disease. Swainsonine is present in a number of plant species worldwide and causes severe toxicosis in livestock grazing these plants. Consumption of these plants by grazing animals leads to a chronic wasting disease characterized by weight loss, depression, altered behavior, decreased libido, infertility, and death. This review focuses on: the three plant families and the associated taxa that contain swainsonine; the fungi that produce swainsonine, specifically the fungal endophytes associated with swainsonine-containing taxa; studies investigating the plant, endophyte, and swainsonine relationship; the influence of environmental factors on swainsonine concentrations in planta; and areas of future research.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page