Metabolomic analysis of Ranunculus spp. as potential agents involved in the etiology of equine grass sickness
Michl, J, Modarai, M, Edwards, S, Heinrich, M 2011, 'Metabolomic analysis of Ranunculus spp. as potential agents involved in the etiology of equine grass sickness', Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, vol. 59, no. 18, pp. 10388-10393.
The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jf201430k
Identification of toxic or harmful agents continues to be a key goal in agricultural chemistry. This paper reports a metabolomic analysis of Ranunculus repens and related species, which were recently postulated to be cocausative agents in the etiology of equine grass sickness (EGS). Specifically, samples collected at EGS sites were compared with those from non-EGS sites. Furthermore, interspecific and seasonal variations and the species’ response to edaphic and climatic factors were investigated. 1H NMR spectroscopy in combination with multivariate data analysis was applied to the crude methanol extracts of the Ranunculus samples, as well as their chloroform fractions. Samples from EGS sites were significantly different from control samples. The metabolite composition varied greatly between different Ranunculus species. No significant changes could be observed between samples collected in different seasons. This work provides strong evidence that Ranunculus is involved in the etiology of EGS and has implications for agricultural management of pastures.