Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Environmental Impacts on Sesquiterpene Lactone Composition of Forage Chicory

Authors
item Foster, Joyce
item Belesky, David
item Zobel, Richard
item Clapham, William
item Alloush, Ghiath - VIRGINIA TECH
item Labreveux, M - PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
item Hall, M - PENN STATE UNIVERSITY
item Sanderson, Matt
item Skinner, Robert

Submitted to: American Forage and Grassland Council Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2003
Publication Date: April 27, 2003
Citation: FOSTER, J.G., BELESKY, D.P., ZOBEL, R.W., CLAPHAM, W.M., ALLOUSH, G.A., LABREVEUX, M.E., HALL, M.E., SANDERSON, M.A., SKINNER, R.H. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS ON SESQUITERPENE LACTONE COMPOSITION OF FORAGE CHICORY. AMERICAN FORAGE AND GRASSLAND COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS. 2003. v. 12. p. 288-292.

Interpretive Summary: Forage chicory is a drought tolerant, perennial forb that produces good yields of high quality forage during mid to late summer when herbage production by traditional pasture species is low. Bitter sesquiterpene lactones in forage chicory, however, can adversely affect the palatability of the herbage. Cultivars grown in southern West Virginia contain significantly higher concentrations of sesquiterpene lactones than the same cultivars grown in central Pennsylvania. These differences suggest that sesquiterpene lactone concentrations in chicory are determined, in part, by conditions at the site where the plants are grown. Several studies have been conducted to determine how N and P fertility, drought, and root temperature influence sesquiterpene lactone composition of chicory herbage. Soil-P deficiency and warm soil temperature correlate with elevated sesquiterpene lactone concentrations in the herbage. Sesquiterpene lactone concentrations tended to be higher in herbage from N-fertilized plants and adequately watered plants than in corresponding deprived plants. These observations provide guidance for development of management practices that will minimize the bitterness of chicory herbage and, thereby, enhance the value of chicory as a forage component in Appalachian pastures.

Technical Abstract: Forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) cultivars grown in different locations in the northeast have vastly different sesquiterpene lactone compositions. Investigations were conducted to identify specific environmental parameters that influence herbage sesquiterpene lactone concentration. Results indicate that soil-P deficiency and warm soil temperature correlate with elevated sesquiterpene lactone concentrations. The temperature-dependent increase in sesquiterpene lactone concentration was greater in cultivars `Grasslands Puna' and `Forage Feast' than in `INIA le Lacerta'. Sesquiterpene lactone concentrations tended to be higher in herbage from N-fertilized plants and adequately watered plants than in corresponding deprived plants. These observations provide guidance for development of management practices that will minimize the bitterness of chicory herbage and, thereby, enhance the value of chicory as a forage component in Appalachian pastures.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page