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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Poisonous Plant Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #361647

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

Location: Poisonous Plant Research

Title: Potencial toxigenico de Astragalus pehuenches Niederl en Argentina

item MARTINEZ, AGUSTIN - Instituto Nacional De Tecnologia Agropecuaria
item Gardner, Dale
item Cook, Daniel
item GIMENO, EDUARDO - Universidad De La Plata
item ROBLES, CARLOS - Instituto Nacional De Tecnologia Agropecuaria

Submitted to: Revista Agropecuaria Brasileira
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2018
Publication Date: 1/16/2019
Citation: Martinez, A., Gardner, D.R., Cook, D., Gimeno, E.J., Robles, C.A. 2019. Potencial toxigenico de Astragalus pehuenches Niederl en Argentina. Revista de Ivestigaciones Agropecuaria. 44(3):378-383.

Interpretive Summary: Plants of the Astragalus species are known throughout the world to be toxic to livestock. One of the species (Astragalus pehuenches) commonly known as “Yerba Loca” is found in the Patagonia region of Argentina. To better understand to potential toxicity and the risk of poisoning from this plant in a specific region of Argentina, plant samples were collected from the Rio Negro province. The samples were then analyzed for the concentration of the toxic compound known as swainsonine. The concentration of the toxin was found to be highly variable throughout the region, however swainsonine was measured in significant concentration in all areas. The study confirms that this species is toxic in this region of Patagonia and constitutes a risk for grazing livestock in the area.

Technical Abstract: The genus Astragalus is widespread over the world with some species being toxic to livestock. Astragalus pehuenches has historically been incriminated in poisoning sheep, cattle and horses in Argentina. Due to the lack of information on the toxicological aspects of this species, a study was carried out to evaluate the toxic potential of A. pehuenches in Rio Negro province. High concentrations of swainsonine from 0.070 to 0.097% were found from plants within this region. Swainsonine concentrations was highly variable between specimens (range: 0.001-0.204%), however no differences were found regarding the toxic potential between areas (p=0.277). This study confirms the risk that Astragalus pehuences constitutes for livestock in Patagonia region.