Charles Sturt University
Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation

Martin Combs

 Martin Combs

Investigation of a novel therapy for treatment of perennial ryegrass toxicosis

Investigation of a novel therapy for treatment of perennial ryegrass toxicosis

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Perennial ryegrass toxicosis (PRGT) is a debilitating and sometimes fatal disease affecting domestic grazing species. It arises from grazing animals eating grasses which are infected with an endophytic fungus Neotyphodium lolii, which produces a number alkaloids that improve the pastures pest resistance but can also be toxic to livestock.

Perennial rye grass toxicosis of sheep and cattle causes significant losses for sheep producers every year in Australia, as well as affecting cattle, goats and horses. For example, in 1999 and 2000 a random survey of 120 farms in south-west Victoria found 100% of farms had perennial ryegrass pasture infected with Neotyphodium lolii and over the two years 33% and 43% of farms reported animals displaying signs of ryegrass staggers. This represents a significant problem for both animal production and animal welfare in Australia.

Our study seeks to investigate a relatively inexpensive therapy that could be applied at the herd level to mitigate the effects of PRGT.

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MLA, Faculty of Science New Initiative Grant

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