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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Research on Lupine-Induced "Crooked Calf Disease" at the Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory: Past, Present and Future

Authors
item Panter, Kip
item James, Lynn
item Wierenga, Terrie
item Gay, Clive - WSU
item Motteram, Ernie - WSU
item Lee, Stephen
item Gardner, Dale
item Pfister, James
item Ralphs, Michael
item Stegelmeier, Bryan

Submitted to: Poisonous Plant Global Research and Solutions
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 31, 2006
Publication Date: June 20, 2007
Citation: Panter, K.E., James, L.F., Wierenga, T.L., Gay, C., Motteram, E., Lee, S.T., Gardner, D.R., Pfister, J.A., Ralphs, M.H., Stegelmeier, B.L. 2007. Research on Lupine-Induced "Crooked Calf Disease" at the Poisonous Plant Research Laboratory: Past, Present and Future. Poisonous Plants Global Research and Solutions. Chpt. 10, pp. 58 - 65.

Interpretive Summary: In this manuscript, research (past, present and future) at the Poisonous Plant Research Lab in Logan Utah, on the effects of Lupine in cattle is reviewed. In brief, lupine research began in the late 1950's with the discovery that certain lupines caused skeletal malformations (crooked calf syndrome) in calves when their pregnant mothers grazed lupines. Anagyrine was identified as the alkaloid that caused the birth defects and the sensitive stage of pregnancy in cattle was defined to be between 40-100 days gestation. Recent and future research is focusing on animal/plant relationships and why and when cattle graze lupines. Management strategies to reduce losses for cattle producers by altering management programs are being refined and provided to ranchers, land managers and extension agents in the west.

Technical Abstract: There are over 500 species of lupine in the world with over 300 in North America and over 150 in the Intermountain West. Past research at the Poisonous Plant Research Lab determined that lupine was responsible for skeletal birth defects in cattle in the western U.S. Anagyrine was determined to be the teratogenic alkaloid and the susceptible stages of pregnancy in cattle were defined to be 40-100 days gestation. Recent research determined that inhibition of fetal movement was determined to be the mechanism of the induced defects and other alkaloids in lupines, poison-hemlock and Nicotiana spp. caused similar reduction in fetal movement and resulted in contracture-type skeletal defects and cleft palate. Future research is focused on why cattle graze lupines and what management changes can ranchers make to reduce losses in their cattle herds yet utilize the important forage resources on range lands. Also, a goat model developed to investigate the mechanism of action in cattle is being used in collaborative research between the Poisonous Plant Research Lab and biomedical partners at Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Brown University Medical School, and U. of Michigan Medical School to improve treatment of cleft palate in children.

Last Modified: 4/23/2014
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