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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #327478

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: A swainsonine survey of North American Astragalus and Oxytropis taxa implicated as locoweeds

Author
item Cook, Daniel
item Gardner, Dale
item Lee, Stephen
item Pfister, James
item Stonecipher, Clinton - Clint
item WELSH, STANLEY - Brigham Young University

Submitted to: Toxicon
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/12/2016
Publication Date: 4/13/2016
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62802
Citation: Cook, D., Gardner, D.R., Lee, S.T., Pfister, J.A., Stonecipher, C.A., Welsh, S.L. 2016. A swainsonine survey of North American Astragalus and Oxytropis taxa implicated as locoweeds. Toxicon. 118:104-111.

Interpretive Summary: Swainsonine is found in a number of plant species worldwide and causes severe toxicosis in livestock grazing these plants leading to a chronic wasting disease characterized by weight loss, depression, altered behavior, decreased libido, infertility, and death. Swainsonine has been detected in 19 Astragalus and 2 Oxytropis species in North America by thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and a jack bean a-mannosidase inhibition assay. In addition, 5 species in North America are presumed to contain swainsonine based upon reports from field cases. Many of these plant species have not been analyzed for swainsonine using modern instrumentation such as gas or liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. To provide clarification, 22 Astragalus species representing 93 taxa and 4 Oxytropis species representing 19 taxa were screened for swainsonine using both liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectometry. Swainsonine was detected in 48 Astragalus taxa representing 13 species and 5 Oxytropis taxa representing 4 species. Forty of the fifty-three swainsonine-positive taxa had not been determined to contain swainsonine previously using liquid or gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The list of swainsonine-contianing taxa reported here will serve as a reference for risk assessment and diagnostic purposes.

Technical Abstract: Swainsonine, an indolizidine alkaloid with significant physiological activity, is an a-mannosidase and mannosidase II inhibitor that causes lysosomal storage disease and alters glycoprotein processing. Swainsonine is found in a number of plant species worldwide and causes severe toxicosis in livestock grazing these plants leading to a chronic wasting disease characterized by weight loss, depression, altered behavior, decreased libido, infertility, and death. Swainsonine has been detected in 19 Astragalus and 2 Oxytropis species in North America by thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and a jack bean a-mannosidase inhibition assay. In addition, 5 species in North America are presumed to contain swainsonine based upon reports from field cases. Many of these plant species have not been analyzed for swainsonine using modern instrumentation such as gas or liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. To provide clarification, 22 Astragalus species representing 93 taxa and 4 Oxytropis species repesenting 19 taxa were screened for swainsonine using both liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Swainsonine was detected in 48 Astragalus taxa representing 13 species and 5 Oxytropis taxa representing 4 species. Forty of the fifty-three swainsonine-positive taxa had not been determined to contain swainsonine previously using liquid or gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The list of swainsonine-containing taxa reported here will serve as a reference for risk assessment and diagnostic purposes.