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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317110

Research Project: Understanding and Mitigating the Adverse Effects of Poisonous Plants on Livestock Production Systems

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Adverse effects of larkspur (Delphinium spp.) on cattle

Author
item Welch, Kevin
item Cook, Daniel
item Green, Benedict - Ben
item Gardner, Dale
item Pfister, James
item McDaneld, Tara
item Panter, Kip

Submitted to: Agriculture
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/10/2015
Publication Date: 7/16/2015
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62772
Citation: Welch, K.D., Cook, D., Green, B.T., Gardner, D.R., Pfister, J.A., Mcdaneld, T.G., Panter, K.E. 2015. Adverse effects of larkspur (Delphinium spp.) on cattle. Agriculture. 5:456-474.

Interpretive Summary: There are numerous species of larkspurs (Delphinium spp.) in North America. The larkspurs are a major cause of cattle losses on western ranges in the USA, especially on foothill and mountain rangelands. Years of research efforts have resulted in the development of numerous management strategies to reduce the number of cattle deaths from larkspurs. The toxicity of larkspur species is due to various norditerpenoid alkaloids. In this article, we review the current knowledge regarding the plant ecology and distribution, analytical technologies to study and quantitate the toxins in larkspur, the toxicology of the larkspurs plants and their individual toxins, known genetic variations to larkspur susceptibility as well as current management recommendations to mitigate losses to larkspur poisoning. Considerable efforts will be made in the future to identify genetic markers of susceptibility and/or resistance to larkspur toxicosis.

Technical Abstract: There are numerous species of larkspurs (Delphinium spp.) in North America. The larkspurs are a major cause of cattle losses on western ranges in the USA, especially on foothill and mountain rangelands. The toxicity of larkspur species is due to various norditerpenoid alkaloids. In this article, we review the current knowledge regarding the plant ecology and distribution, analytical technologies to study and quantitate the toxins in larkspur, the toxicology of the larkspurs plants and their individual toxins, known genetic variations to larkspur susceptibility as well as current management recommendations to mitigate losses to larkspur poisoning.