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Evaluation of Selected Clones of Phalaris arundinacea II. Indole Alkaloid Derivatives

Barnes, R. F., Simons, A. B., Marten, G. C.
Agronomy journal 1971 v.63 no.3 pp. 507-509
botany, Plant Science and Plant Products
Indole alkaloid derivatives have been reported in reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.). We measured the contents of three alkaloids in two palatable and two unpalatable clones of reed eanarygrass to study the relationship between alkaloids and palatability. The palatability ratings had been previously determined in cafeteria grazing trials with sheep. Chopped frozen forage from four harvests of each clone was available from previous in vivo digestion and intake trials conducted in 1962 and 1963. Samples from the initial growth and first regrowth of 1962 and first and second regrowth of 1963 were analyzed for gramine (3-dimethylaminomethylindole), 5 methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), and N,N.dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The assay procedure involved ascending paper chromatography followed by elution and spectrophotometry for quantitative estimation of each compound. The palatable clones conrained up to 0.1% gramine, but no DMT. Conversely, the unpalatable clones contained up to 0.02% DMT, but no gramine. All clones contained 5-MeO-DMT; however, the palatable clones had 0.01% or less, compared to 0.07% in the unpalatable clones. We found the lowest concentrations of total alkaloids in the initial growth forage and the highest concentrations in the first regrowth of 1963.