Location: Poisonous Plant Research
Project Number: 5428-32630-012-05-N
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement
Start Date: Aug 1, 2009
End Date: Jul 31, 2014
Survey grasslands of Mongolia and the western United States for species of Oxytropis, Astragalus and Swainsonia to determine which species and populations contain the toxic alkaloid swainsonine that causes locoweed poisoning in livestock.
The USDA/ARS Poisonous Plant Lab (PPRL) has developed chemical assays for the toxic alkaloid swainsonine and for detecting and quantifying the endophytic fungus Undifilum which produces swainsonine. Species of Oxytropis, Astragalus and Swainsona will be collected throughout Mongolia and the western United States and small samples of leaf and flower material will be sent to PPRL to determine the presence of the endophyte and concentration of swainsonine. From these samples toxicity of the species will be determined.