U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Detection of toxic monofluoroacetate in Palicourea species

Daniel Cook, Stephen T. Lee, Charlotte M. Taylor, Burgund Bassüner, Franklin Riet-Correa, James A. Pfister, Dale R. Gardner
Toxicon 2014 v.80 no. pp. 9-16
Amorimia, Bignoniaceae, Palicourea aeneofusca, Psychotria, death, fluoroacetic acid, herbaria, livestock, toxic substances, Brazil
Numerous plant species worldwide including some Palicourea (Rubiaceae), Tanaecium (Bignoniaceae), and Amorimia (Malpighiaceae) species in Brazil cause sudden death and are known to contain monofluoroacetate (MFA). Two species of Palicourea, Palicourea aenofusca and Palicourea marcgravii, cause sudden death and are reported to contain MFA while other Palicourea species are reported to cause sudden death in livestock and are suspected to contain MFA due to the similarity in clinical signs. Using an HPLC–APCI–MS method to detect MFA, herbarium specimens representing 46 Palicourea taxa were screened for the presence of MFA. Additionally we screened five Psychotria taxa that are closely related to Palicourea species. Ten species of Palicourea were identified that contained MFA, two previously reported and eight newly reported here; these are closely related to each other, though some other related species did not contain MFA.