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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Schaneberg, Brian
item Molyneux, Russell
item Khan, Iklas

Submitted to: Phytochemical Analysis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2003
Publication Date: 1/15/2004
Citation: Schaneberg, B.T., Molyneux, R.J., Khan, I.A. 2004. Evaporative light scattering detection of pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Phytochemical Analysis. 15(1):36-39.

Interpretive Summary: A new, sensitive method has been developed for a group of plant constituents that are toxic to the liver in animals and humans. Consumption of such plants by livestock can produce liver damage that is not obvious and may result in death when the animal is stressed. The same constituents have sometimes occurred in grains containing weed seeds and in herbal supplements. The analytical method will allow the presence or absence of these toxins in a given plant to be ascertained and thus prevent episodes of poisoning.

Technical Abstract: A reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography method utilizing evaporative light scattering detection (ELSD) has been developed for the simultaneous detection of hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids with and without chromophores, namely, riddelliine, riddelliine N-oxide, senecionine, senecionine N-oxide, seneciphylline, retrorsine, integerrimine, lasiocarpine and heliotrine. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids were detected in five plant extracts (Senecio spartioides, S. douglasii var. longilobus, S. jacobaea,S. intergerrimus var. exaltatus and Symphytum officinale). The detection of heliotrine (which does not contain a chromophore) was much improved by ELSD compared with photodiode array detection.

Last Modified: 06/27/2017
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