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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: OPTIMIZING THE BIOLOGY OF THE ANIMAL-PLANT INTERFACE FOR IMPROVED SUSTAINABILITY OF FORAGE-BASED ANIMAL ENTERPRISES Title: Endophyte-associated ergot alkaloids

Author
item Strickland, James

Submitted to: Mcgraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: May 9, 2011
Publication Date: February 25, 2012
Citation: Strickland, J.R. 2012. Endophyte-associated ergot alkaloids. Mcgraw-Hill Yearbook of Science and Technology. 76.

Interpretive Summary: Fescue toxicosis is a very costly (greater than $600 million/annually) for the cattle, horse and small ruminant industries. The tall fescue forage responsible for this intoxication is infected with an endophytic fungus (Neotyphodium coenophialum) that produces ergot alkaloids, which are toxic to the grazing animal. This article provides a brief overview of the identity of the ergot alkaloids in this plant-fungal symbiosis, the vascular effects of these alkaloids and possible solutions for the fescue toxicosis problem.

Technical Abstract: Fescue toxicosis is a very costly (greater than $600 million/annually) for the cattle, horse and small ruminant industries. The tall fescue forage responsible for this intoxication is infected with an endophytic fungus (Neotyphodium coenophialum) that produces ergot alkaloids, which are toxic to the grazing animal. This article provides a brief overview of the identity of the ergot alkaloids in this plant-fungal symbiosis, the vascular effects of these alkaloids and possible solutions for the fescue toxicosis problem.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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