Phalaris toxicoses in Australian livestock production systems: Prevalence, aetiology and toxicology

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Abstract

The perennial grass Phalaris is a valuable pasture species whichfeatures predominantly in Australian and North American grazingsystems. Its usefulness, however, has been tempered by the presentationof sporadic outbreaks of severe toxicoses associated with its ingestionby grazing livestock. Phalaris toxicoses present as one of two clinicalentities: phalaris 'staggers' or 'sudden death'. Although alkaloidtoxins have been implicated in both syndromes their identificationand mechanism of action are yet to be fully defined, and the specificnature of phalaris toxicity is currently poorly understood. Mitigationstrategies currently centre on changed management practices, suchas sowing low alkaloid cultivars and supplementation with cobalt.This review examines the prevalence, aetiology and pathogenesis ofphalaris 'staggers' and 'sudden death' syndromes as well as currentknowledge of environmental and agronomic interactions associatedwith the production of nitrogenous compounds and bioactivesecondary metabolites in the plant.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Toxins
Volume1
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014

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