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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331728

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Evaluation of the stability of benzofuran ketones in rayless goldenrod (Isocoma pluriflora) and white snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) under different storage conditions

Author
item Lee, Stephen
item Davis, Thomas - Zane
item Cook, Daniel

Submitted to: International Journal of Poisonous Plant Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/12/2015
Publication Date: 8/1/2017
Citation: Lee, S.T., Davis, T.Z., Cook, D. 2017. Evaluation of the stability of benzofuran ketones in rayless goldenrod (Isocoma pluriflora) and white snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) under different storage conditions. International Journal of Poisonous Plant Research. 4(1):36-42.

Interpretive Summary: White snakeroot and rayless goldenrod cause “trembles” and “milk sickness” in livestock and humans, respectively. The toxin in white snakeroot and rayless goldenrod was identified in 1927 and 1930, respectively as tremetol. It was reported that the toxin in white snakeroot disappears as it is dried, and that completely dried plants were incapable of producing “trembles” or “milk sickness”. However, it has been suggested that the toxins in rayless goldenrod were not destroyed by drying and both fresh and dry plants are toxic. Later, tremetol isolated from white snakeroot and rayless goldenrod was determined to be a complex mixtures containing several different chemicals including tremetone, dehydrotremetone, and hydroxytremetone in white snakeroot and tremetone, dehydrotremetone, and 3-oxyangeloyltremetone in rayless goldenrod. In this report, the stability of these chemicals in white snakeroot and rayless goldenrod were studied by measuring the concentrations chemicals in ground and in intact plant material stored at different temperatures over a 6 year time period.

Technical Abstract: White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) and rayless goldenrod (Isocoma pluriflora) cause “trembles” and “milk sickness” in livestock and humans, respectively. The toxin in white snakeroot and rayless goldenrod was identified in 1927 and 1930, respectively as tremetol. It was reported that the toxin in white snakeroot disappears as it is dried, and that completely dried plants were incapable of producing “trembles” or “milk sickness”. However, it has been suggested that the toxins in rayless goldenrod were not destroyed by drying and both fresh and dry plants are toxic. Later, tremetol isolated from white snakeroot and rayless goldenrod was determined to be a complex mixtures containing various benzofuran ketones including tremetone, 1, dehydrotremetone, 2, and hydroxytremetone in white snakeroot and tremetone, 1, dehydrotremetone, 2, and 3-oxyangeloyltremetone, 3 in rayless goldenrod. In this report, the stability of the benzofuran ketones in white snakeroot and rayless goldenrod were studied by measuring the concentrations of the benzofuran ketones in ground and in intact plant material stored at different temperatures over an approximately 6 year time period.