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Seasonal and Species Variation of the Hepatotoxin Indospicine in Australian Indigofera Legumes as Measured by UPLC−MS/MS

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Tan, E. T. T., Materne, C., Silcock, R., D'Arcy, B. R., Al Jassim, R. and Fletcher, M. T. (2016) Seasonal and Species Variation of the Hepatotoxin Indospicine in Australian Indigofera Legumes as Measured by UPLC−MS/MS. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . ISSN 0021-8561

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Article Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jafc.6b02437


Livestock industries have maintained a keen interest in pasture legumes because of the high protein content and nutritive value. Leguminous Indigofera plant species have been considered as having high feeding values to be utilized as pasture, but the occurrence of the toxic constituent indospicine in some species has restricted this utility. Indospicine has caused both primary and secondary hepatotoxicosis and also reproductive losses, but has only previously been determined in a small number of Indigofera species. This paper validates a high throughput ultra-performance liquid chromatography−tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC−MS/MS) method to determine indospicine content of various Indigofera species found in Australian pasture. Twelve species of Indigofera together with Indigastrum parviflorum plants were collected and analysed. Out of the 84 samples analyzed, *I. spicata contained the highest indospicine level (1003 ± 328 mg/kg DM, n = 4) followed by I. linnaei (755 ± 490 mg/kg DM, n = 51). Indospicine was not detected in 9 of the remaining 11 species, and at only low levels (<10 mg/kg DM) in 2 out of 8 I. colutea specimens and in 1 out of 5 I. linifolia specimens. Indospicine concentrations were below quantitation levels for other Indigofera spp. (I. adesmiifolia, I. georgei, I. hirsuta, I. leucotricha,* I. oblongifolia, I. australis and I. trita) and Indigastrum parviflorum. One of the more significant findings to emerge from this study is that the indospicine content of I. linnaei is highly variable (159 to 2128 mg/kg DM, n = 51), and differs across both regions and seasons. Its first re-growth after spring rain has a higher (p < 0.01) indospicine content than growth following more substantial summer rain. The species collected include the predominant Indigofera in Australia pasture, and of these, only *I. spicata and I. linnaei contain high enough levels of indospicine to pose a potential toxic threat to grazing herbivores.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Animal Science
Subjects:Plant culture > Field crops > Forage crops. Feed crops
Animal culture > Rangelands. Range management. Grazing
Live Archive:15 Aug 2016 03:45
Last Modified:03 Sep 2021 16:50

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