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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The Isolation and Identification of Steroidal Sapogenins in Switchgrass

Authors
item Lee, Stephen
item Stegelmeier, Bryan
item Gardner, Dale
item Vogel, Kenneth

Submitted to: Journal of Natural Toxins
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2001
Publication Date: October 20, 2001
Citation: LEE, S.T., STEGELMEIER, B.L., GARDNER, D.R., VOGEL, K.P. THE ISOLATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF STEROIDAL SAPOGENINS IN SWITCHGRASS. JOURNAL OF NATURAL TOXINS. 2001.

Interpretive Summary: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been reported to be hepatotoxic, causing photosensitization in lambs and horses. In this study we show the presence of steroidal saponins in two switchgrass samples that have been implicated in the poisonings of sheep and horses. After hydrolysis of the saponins, diosgenin was determined to be the major sapogenin in both switchgrass samples. The switchgrass samples contain as many as five othe sapogenins, all of which are isomers of diosgenin.

Technical Abstract: Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been reported to be hepatotoxic, causing photosensitization in lambs and horses. In this study we show the presence of steroidal saponins in two swtichgrass samples that have been implicated in the poisoning of sheep and horses. After hydrolysis of the saponins, diosgenin was determined to be the major sapogenin in both switchgrass samples. The switchgrass samples contain as many as five othe sapogenins, all of which are isomers of diosgenin. We also confirmed the presence of diosgenin in kleingrass after hydrolysis of saponins extracted from it.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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