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Ergovaline does not alter the level of ryegrass staggers induced by lolitrem B

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 15:08 authored by Sarah FinchSarah Finch, Ben Vlaming, Lee Sutherland, Chikako van KotenChikako van Koten, Wade MaceWade Mace, Lester Fletcher
Abstract AIM: To investigate a possible interaction between lolitrem B and ergovaline by comparing the incidence and severity of ryegrass staggers in sheep grazing ryegrass (Lolium perenne) containing lolitrem B or ryegrass containing both lolitrem B and ergovaline. METHODS: Ninety lambs, aged approximately 6 months-old, were grazed on plots of perennial ryegrass infected with either AR98 endophyte (containing lolitrem B), standard endophyte(containing lolitrem B and ergovaline) or no endophyte, for up to 42 days from 2 February 2010. Ten lambs were grazed on three replicate plots per cultivar. Herbage samples were collected for alkaloid analysis and lambs were scored for ryegrass staggers (scores from 0–5) weekly during the study. Any animal which was scored ≥4 was removed from the study. RESULTS: Concentrations of lolitrem B did not differ between AR98 and standard endophyte-infected pastures during the study period (p=0.26), and ergovaline was present only in standard endophyte pastures. Ryegrass staggers was observed in sheep grazing both the AR98 and standard endophyte plots, with median scores increasing in the third week of the study. Prior to the end of the 42-day grazing period, 22 and 17 animals were removed from the standard endophyte and AR98 plots, respectively, because their staggers scores were ≥4. The cumulative probability of lambs having scores ≥4 did not differ between animals grazing the two pasture types (p=0.41). CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: There was no evidence for ergovaline increasing the severity of ryegrass staggers induced by lolitrem B. In situations where the severity of ryegrass staggers appears to be greater than that predicted on the basis of concentrations of lolitrem B, the presence of other tremorgenic alkaloids should be investigated.


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Copyright © 2017 Informa UK Limited


  • English

Does this contain Māori information or data?

  • No


Taylor & Francis Group

Journal title

New Zealand Veterinary Journal




Finch, S. C, Vlaming, J. B., Sutherland, B. L., van Koten, C., Mace, W. J., & Fletcher, L. R. (2018). Ergovaline does not alter the level of ryegrass staggers induced by lolitrem B. New Zealand Veterinary Journal, 66(2), 93-97. doi:10.1080/00480169.2017.1416693

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