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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334405

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: A screen for Swainsonine in select North American Astragalus species

Author
item Cook, Daniel
item Gardner, Dale
item Pfister, James
item Lee, Stephen
item Welch, Kevin
item WELSH, STANLEY - Brigham Young University

Submitted to: Chemistry and Biodiversity
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2016
Publication Date: 3/23/2017
Citation: Cook, D., Gardner, D.R., Pfister, J.A., Lee, S.T., Welch, K.D., Welsh, S.L. 2017. A screen for Swainsonine in select North American Astragalus species. Chemistry and Biodiversity. 14(4):e1600364. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201600364.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/cbdv.201600364

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 condition characterized by weight loss, depression, altered behavior, decreased libido, infertility, and death. Swainsonine has been detected in 13 North American Astragalus species of which eight belong to taxa in four taxonomic sections, the Densifolii, Diphysi, Inflati, and Trichopodi. These sections belong to two larger groups representing several morphologically related species, the Pacific Piptolobi and the small flowered Piptolobi. We hypothesized that there may be a morphological and/or phylogenetic signature for swainsonine-containing species. The objective of this study was to screen the other 31 species for swainsonine in sections Densifolii, Diphysi, Inflati, and Trichopodi previously not known to contain swainsonine. Furthermore, to broaden the scope further, 21 species within the 8 sections of the Pacific Piptolobi and the small flowered Piptolobi were screened for swainsonine. A systematic examination for swainsonine in these species will provide important information on the toxic risk of these species and would be a valuable reference for land managers.

Technical Abstract: The indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine 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 condition characterized by weight loss, depression, altered behavior, decreased libido, infertility, and death. Swainsonine has been detected in 13 North American Astragalus species of which eight belong to taxa in four taxonomic sections, the Densifolii, Diphysi, Inflati, and Trichopodi. These sections belong to two larger groups representing several morphologically related species, the Pacific Piptolobi and the small flowered Piptolobi. We hypothesized that there may be a morphological and/or phylogenetic signature for swainsonine-containing species. The objective of this study was to screen the other 31 species for swainsonine in sections Densifolii, Diphysi, Inflati, and Trichopodi previously not known to contain swainsonine. Furthermore, to broaden the scope further, 21 species within the 8 sections of the Pacific Piptolobi and the small flowered Piptolobi were screened for swainsonine. A systematic examination for swainsonine in these species will provide important information on the toxic risk of these species and would be a valuable reference for land managers.