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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #329834

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Detection of Ptaquilosides in different phenologic stages of Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) and analysis of milk samples in farms with hematuria in Tolima, Colombia

Author
item RINCON, DIEGO - National University Of Colombia
item DIAZ, GONZALO - National University Of Colombia
item Gardner, Dale

Submitted to: Revista de Medicina Veterinaria
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/2016
Publication Date: 4/16/2016
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/62589
Citation: Rincon, D.F., Diaz, G.J., Gardner, D.R. 2016. Detection of Ptaquilosides in different phenologic stages of Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) and analysis of milk samples in farms with hematuria in Tolima, Colombia. Revista de Medicina Veterinaria. 11(1):72-77.

Interpretive Summary: Bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum) is one of the most common plants in the meadows of the mountain ranges of Colombia. Consumption of the plant by cattle causes a disease known to produce tumors in the bladder and cancer of the esophagus. It is believed that the toxic effects of the plant is caused by a compound identified as ptaquiloside. In this study, eight samples of Bracken fern in different stages of growth along with sixteen milk samples collected in two towns of Tolima, Líbano and Murillo (Colombia), were analyzed for the toxin known as ptaquiloside. In all Bracken fern samples, detectable levels of ptaquilosides were observed, ranging from 23 to 1194 µg/g, with a mean concentration of 342 µg/g. Ptaquilosides was not detected in any of the milk samples. The results show variation in the concentration of ptaquilosides depending on the growth stage and collection site of the plant. The lack of ptaquiloside in the milk samples might be explained by the reported instability of the ptaquiloside and/or the processing given to the milk samples.

Technical Abstract: Bracken fern or “Helecho Macho” (Pteridium aquilinum) is one of the most common weeds in the meadows of the mountain ranges of Colombia. Consumption of this palatable plant by bovines causes a disease known as bovine enzootic hematuria and esophageal neoplasia. The toxic effect of the plant in bovines is caused by the ptaquiloside, main carcinogenic toxin of this plant. In this study, eight samples of Bracken fern in different phenologic stages and 16 milk samples collected in two towns of Tolima, Líbano and Murillo, were analized. In both cases, Highperformance liquid cromatography (HPLC) coupled with Mass Spectrometry (MS) was used. In all Bracken fern samples analized, detectable levels of ptaquilosides were observed, ranging from 23 to 1194 µg/g, with a 342 µg/g mean. No detectable levels of ptaquilosides were found in the milk samples. The results show a great variation in the content of ptaquilosides depending on the phenologic stage and collection site of the plant. It is posible that the reported instability of the ptaquiloside and the processing given to the milk samples could have caused the lack of detection of the compound in milk.