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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344098

Research Project: Eliminating Fusarium Mycotoxin Contamination of Corn by Targeting Fungal Mechanisms and Adaptations Conferring Fitness in Corn and Toxicology and Toxinology Studies of Mycotoxins

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: Screening of Balansia epichloe-infected grass species for in situ ergot alkaloids using laser ablation electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry

item Mitchell, Trevor
item Hinton, Dorothy
item Bacon, Charles

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/2017
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The Balansia are clavicipitaceous symbiotic species associated with various species of tropical grasses. Laboratory culture procedures established that the Balansia species are often conspecific with grasses in tall fescue pastures that produced ergot alkaloids. However, any effects of hosts on the accumulation pattern by the same Balansia species are unknown. Also the in planta distribution of these toxins throughout the plant axis is unknown but require rather complex procedures. A method eliminating extensive sample preparations including numerous fermentations, extractions, thin-layer, and liquid chromatography is needed to screen naturally endophytic infected pasture grasses for ergot alkaloid production. Laser ablation electrospray ionization (LAESI) mass spectrometry is a high throughput screening procedure capable of the in situ detection of pictogram levels of metabolites in plant tissue without total plant injury. LAESI procedure was used to determine the in situ chemical analyses of ergot alkaloids produced by grasses infected with the same species in efforts to determine host influence on ergot alkaloid production under prior laboratory culture. Sporobolus poiretii(smut grass)is the reference for the laboratory production reported earlier. We used greenhouse-grown grass species to determine the in planta occurrence of total ergot alkaloids infected with Balansia epichloe, the identity of which was determined morphologically and molecularly. The grass species associated with B. epichloe included in this study were smut grass, lacegrass (Eragrostis capillaries, a new host), and lovegrass (Eragrostis hirsuta), all maintained under unheated greenhouse cultivation with liquid fertilization. These grasses were examined for the in planta presence of agroclavine, ergocornine, ergotaminine, erogosine, and a-ergocryptine known to occur in laboratory culture studies of strains from the reference symbiotum B. epichloe-S. poiretii.