Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #359127

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Bioactive alkaloids from plants poisonous to livestock in North America

item Green, Benedict - Ben
item Lee, Stephen
item Gardner, Dale
item Welch, Kevin
item Cook, Daniel

Submitted to: Israel Journal of Chemistry
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2019
Publication Date: 2/18/2019
Citation: Green, B.T., Lee, S.T., Gardner, D.R., Welch, K.D., Cook, D. 2019. Bioactive alkaloids from plants poisonous to livestock in North America. Israel Journal of Chemistry. 59(5):351-359.

Interpretive Summary: This manuscript provides a review of current knowledge for several agriculturally important toxic alkaloid which poison livestock.

Technical Abstract: Plants produce a wide variety of chemical compounds which have a variety of uses including flavors, fragrances, insecticides, dyes, poisons, and pharmaceutical agents. In this review, we focus on plant alkaloids from the genera Delphinium, Lupinus, Conium, Nicotiana, Veratrum, and selected plant endophyte derived alkaloids. Alkaloids discussed include norditerpenoid alkaloids which act as antagonists to block the ligand binding sites of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and cause acute toxicosis in adult animals which can result in death. Quinolizidine and piperidine alkaloids which inhibit of fetal movement to cause arthrogryposis and other fetal defects. Steroidal alkaloids from Veratrum californicum including cyclopamine that inhibits the hedgehog (Hh) signaling pathway involved in embryonic development, and cancers. The bioactivity of these alkaloids makes them useful tools for research and in human and veterinary medicine or potentially harmful toxins.