Source: AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE submitted to
NON-TRADITIONAL PLANT RESOURCES FOR GRAZING RUMINANTS IN APPALACHIA
Sponsoring Institution
Agricultural Research Service/USDA
Project Status
NEW
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0412901
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
1932-21410-001-00D
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Mar 18, 2008
Project End Date
Mar 17, 2013
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
FOSTER J G
Recipient Organization
AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE
1224 AIRPORT ROAD
BEAVER,WV 25813
Performing Department
(N/A)
Non Technical Summary
(N/A)
Animal Health Component
40%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
40%
Applied
40%
Developmental
20%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
2053610100010%
3131641106010%
2051641106020%
2041641100010%
3131641107015%
2042220111020%
2043820107015%
Goals / Objectives
Identify non-traditional plant resources and associated management methods with potential to enhance nutrition and health of small ruminants produced in central Appalachia. Specific objective 1: Identify plant resources and determine plant growth characteristics and management practices that can expand forage options. Specific objective 2: Identify plant resources and plant management strategies that can help control gastrointestinal helminths which infect small ruminants.
Project Methods
Controlled environment, field plot, and laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine growth habit, herbage yield, and chemical composition of non-traditional pasture legumes, forbs and grasses with potential for use as forage or forage supplements for small ruminants. Emphasis will be placed on plant species having physical properties or chemical constituents that disrupt the life cycle of the gastrointestinal nematode, Haemonchus contortus or provide immune system support for the ruminant. Non-traditional plant species used in these studies include condensed tannin-containing legumes, American potato bean, purslane, artemisia, and chicory. Condensed tannin-containing forage species will be evaluated for economic potential for hay production under central Appalachian growing conditions using criteria of yield, forage quality, and stand persistence. Native Appalachian plant species that have the potential to provide sufficient yield and bioactive constituents for small ruminants will be identified. The effect of plant species, management, and season on antioxidant capacity of traditional and non-traditional forage species will be measured using samples from multi-year field studies. The influence of edaphic and solar conditions on physical and chemical properties of plant resources will be determined using plants grown with and without mineral deficiencies, with varying levels of UV light, or with natural radiation attenuation. Potential adverse effects of non-traditional plant resources on rumen metabolism and potential alterations in bioactivity by rumen microbial activity will be assessed using in vitro rumen fermentation assays. Anthelmintic activity of plant materials and isolated constituents will be determined using in vitro and in vivo parasite assays. The effect of plant morphology, sward density, and canopy height on hatching and migration of parasite larvae will be evaluated to determine how physical characteristics of pastures can be manipulated to disrupt the parasite life cycle.

Progress 10/01/10 to 09/30/11

Outputs
Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) Identify non-traditional plant resources and associated management methods with potential to enhance nutrition and health of small ruminants produced in central Appalachia. Specific objective 1: Identify plant resources and determine plant growth characteristics and management practices that can expand forage options. Specific objective 2: Identify plant resources and plant management strategies that can help control gastrointestinal helminths which infect small ruminants. Approach (from AD-416) Controlled environment, field plot, and laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine growth habit, herbage yield, and chemical composition of non-traditional pasture legumes, forbs and grasses with potential for use as forage or forage supplements for small ruminants. Emphasis will be placed on plant species having physical properties or chemical constituents that disrupt the life cycle of the gastrointestinal nematode, Haemonchus contortus or provide immune system support for the ruminant. Non-traditional plant species used in these studies include condensed tannin-containing legumes, American potato bean, purslane, artemisia, and chicory. Condensed tannin-containing forage species will be evaluated for economic potential for hay production under central Appalachian growing conditions using criteria of yield, forage quality, and stand persistence. Native Appalachian plant species that have the potential to provide sufficient yield and bioactive constituents for small ruminants will be identified. The effect of plant species, management, and season on antioxidant capacity of traditional and non- traditional forage species will be measured using samples from multi-year field studies. The influence of edaphic and solar conditions on physical and chemical properties of plant resources will be determined using plants grown with and without mineral deficiencies, with varying levels of UV light, or with natural radiation attenuation. Potential adverse effects of non-traditional plant resources on rumen metabolism and potential alterations in bioactivity by rumen microbial activity will be assessed using in vitro rumen fermentation assays. Anthelmintic activity of plant materials and isolated constituents will be determined using in vitro and in vivo parasite assays. The effect of plant morphology, sward density, and canopy height on hatching and migration of parasite larvae will be evaluated to determine how physical characteristics of pastures can be manipulated to disrupt the parasite life cycle. Collection of data continues in WV on potential effects of UVB radiation related to altitude on bioactive nontraditional legumes with potential anthelmintic activity. Plant growth data is being collected under field & controlled environment conditions, and condensed tannin concentrations of herbage are being determined. Collection of greenhouse data related to effects of poor soil fertility on the antioxidant capacity & condensed tannin content of selected legumes is ongoing. The antioxidant capacity of alfalfa, orchardgrass, and chicory samples from multi-year field plot studies has been quantified; analysis of two brassica species from different sampling dates is underway. A lab assay procedure using a free- living roundworm was developed & used to assess the anthelmintic potential of trees and shrubs containing condensed or hydrolyzable tannins, Artemisia annua plants containing high concentrations of the compounds artemisinin and dihydroartemisinic acid, & several medicinal herbs. The effect of purslane and brassica seed extracts and brassica leaf extracts on hatching of Haemonchus contortus (barberpole worm) eggs and motility of the infective larvae was determined using laboratory bioassay procedures. Bulk sesquiterpene lactone extracts have been prepared from chicory leaves, and preparations are underway for evaluating differential effects of the chicory sesquiterpene lactone on H. contortus worms in vivo (gerbils, sheep) in collaboration with SCA partners at VA Tech. Investigation of the anthelmintic activity of artemisinin and Artemisia annua extracts in sheep is being conducted in collaboration with EMBRAPA, Brazil. Chemical analysis of chicory leaves representing herbage that was either consumed or rejected by sheep parasitized by H. contortus has revealed differences in nitrate and sesquiterpene lactone concentrations in the two forage types produced during a SARE project with Ohio St U researchers and farmer collaborators. A laboratory rumen fermentation experiment was completed to evaluate the impact of plants and plant extracts on rumen bacterial populations in goats using metagenomic procedures to identify shifts in bacterial, protozoal, archeal and fungal populations. Rumen fermentation studies with chicory leaves and sesquiterpene lactone extracts have been conducted to evaluate rates of tissue digestion and sesquiterpene lactone metabolism. A rapid method for quantifying third stage larvae of H. contortus on pasture plants is being used to determine parasite loads on pastures and examine potential for physical & chemical disruption of the life cycle of the parasite. A rapid, non-destructive procedure using near infrared reflectance spectroscopy is being developed for est. concentrations of the individual sesquiterpene lactones in chicory leaves. Substantial progress has been made in developing a chromatographic procedure for quantification of cichoriin in chicory. This project will provide plant materials & associated management approaches to expand forage options and H. contortus control strategies for small ruminants in humid, temperate climates. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations Scientists have participated in activities targeting small farms and socially disadvantaged/limited resource/historically under-served producers in Appalachia: 1) presentation at the Northeast Pasture Consortium annual meeting, participation at the American Forage and Grassland Council annual meeting; 2) presentation at the Appalachian Grazing Conference; and 3) collaboration on a SARE grant awarded to Ohio State University Extension personnel for evaluation of the use of non- traditional forages for gastrointestinal parasite control in small ruminants. Accomplishments 01 Forage turnips are safe for meat goats and may reduce harmful effect of barberpole worm infection. Drug-resistant, blood-feeding barberpole wor are a major animal health problem facing sheep and goat production throughout the world. Plants that may help combat these worms naturally are being sought. Some components of brassica plants such as turnips ar toxic to worms that infest plants and might have potential to kill barberpole worms, but other components of brassicas sometimes cause anem in animals and might make worm-induced anemia worse. ARS researchers at Beaver, WV investigated this paradox with a feeding trial indicating tha feeding forage turnip did not lead to clinical anemia in healthy or parasitized goats and improved feed intake of the goats infected with barberpole worms. Results justify further work to investigate the feasibility of using forage brassicas to combat worm infections in goats 02 New bioassay will improve screening of potential livestock de-wormers. Traditional bioassay methods to identify plant materials with potential control worms in the digestive track of sheep and goats require culturin of gastrointestinal worms. Such culturing is time-consuming and expensi involving maintenance of parasitized donor animals, isolation of worm eggs from feces, and culturing of fecal material to obtain infective larvae. ARS researchers at Beaver, WV established a modified bioassay method using Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living roundworm, instead of gastrointestinal roundworms. C. elegans was easier to culture and maintain than gastrointestinal worm species and gave reliable results wh screening for potential de-worming activity of medicinal and tannin- containing plants. This method has potential to reduce the expense and time required to identify plants that contain compounds with potential f gastrointestinal worm control in sheep and goats.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Foster, J.G., Cassida, K.A., Sanderson, M.A. 2011. Seasonal variation in sesquiterpene lactone concentration and composition of forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) cultivars. Grass and Forage Science. DOI: 10.1111/j. 1365-2494.2011.00801.x.
  • Foster, J.G., Cassida, K.A., Turner, K.E. 2011. In vitro analysis of the anthelmintic activity of forage chicory (Cichorium intybus L.) sesquiterpene lactones against a predominatly Haemonchus contortus egg population. Veterinary Parasitology. 180(3-4):298-306.
  • Ferreira, J.F., Peaden, P., Keiser, J. 2011. In vitro trematocidal effects of crude alcoholic extracts of Artemisia annua, A. absinthium, Asimina triloba, and Fumaria officinalis. Parasitology Research. DOI: 10. 1007/s00436-011-2418-0.
  • Singh, N.P., Ferreira, J.F., Park, J., Lai, H. 2011. Cytotoxicity of ethanolic extracts of Artemisia annua to Molt-4 human leukemia cells. Planta Medica. 77:1788-1793.
  • Katiki, L., Ferreira, J.F., Zajac, A., Masler, C.A., Lindsay, D., Chagas, A., Amarante, A. 2011. Caenorhabditis elegans as a model to screen plant extracts and compounds as natural anthelmintics for veterinary use. Veterinary Parasitology. 182:264-268.


Progress 10/01/09 to 09/30/10

Outputs
Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) Identify non-traditional plant resources and associated management methods with potential to enhance nutrition and health of small ruminants produced in central Appalachia. Specific objective 1: Identify plant resources and determine plant growth characteristics and management practices that can expand forage options. Specific objective 2: Identify plant resources and plant management strategies that can help control gastrointestinal helminths which infect small ruminants. Approach (from AD-416) Controlled environment, field plot, and laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine growth habit, herbage yield, and chemical composition of non-traditional pasture legumes, forbs and grasses with potential for use as forage or forage supplements for small ruminants. Emphasis will be placed on plant species having physical properties or chemical constituents that disrupt the life cycle of the gastrointestinal nematode, Haemonchus contortus or provide immune system support for the ruminant. Non-traditional plant species used in these studies include condensed tannin-containing legumes, American potato bean, purslane, artemisia, and chicory. Condensed tannin-containing forage species will be evaluated for economic potential for hay production under central Appalachian growing conditions using criteria of yield, forage quality, and stand persistence. Native Appalachian plant species that have the potential to provide sufficient yield and bioactive constituents for small ruminants will be identified. The effect of plant species, management, and season on antioxidant capacity of traditional and non- traditional forage species will be measured using samples from multi-year field studies. The influence of edaphic and solar conditions on physical and chemical properties of plant resources will be determined using plants grown with and without mineral deficiencies, with varying levels of UV light, or with natural radiation attenuation. Potential adverse effects of non-traditional plant resources on rumen metabolism and potential alterations in bioactivity by rumen microbial activity will be assessed using in vitro rumen fermentation assays. Anthelmintic activity of plant materials and isolated constituents will be determined using in vitro and in vivo parasite assays. The effect of plant morphology, sward density, and canopy height on hatching and migration of parasite larvae will be evaluated to determine how physical characteristics of pastures can be manipulated to disrupt the parasite life cycle. Collection of data related to bioactive nontraditional legumes with potential anthelmintic activity continues at high and low altitude sites in West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Tannin concentrations in herbage are being quantified. Investigations of effects of ultraviolet light on tanniferous forages are underway under controlled environments. Field studies of purslane and American potato bean, conducted by Mountain State University (SCA 58-1932-7-767) have been concluded, and final determinations of forage quality and antiquality characteristics are underway. These plants have proven to be unsatisfactory for intended applications, and research efforts have been redirected toward selection and breeding of a forage chicory cultivar with enhanced anthelmintic activity. Relationships between nutrient limitations during plant growth and antioxidant capacity and condensed tannin concentration of forage have been investigated using birdsfoot trefoil and lespedeza grown in sand culture with macronutrient deficiencies. The antioxidant capacity of alfalfa, orchardgrass, chicory, and brassica samples from multi-year field plot studies has been quantified. Artemisia annua plants that have high concentrations of artemisinic acid and dihydroartemisinic acid have been selected because these compounds have exhibited anthelmintic activity against the gastrointestinal parasite Haemonchus contortus in laboratory assays. In collaboration with Virginia Tech parasitologists (SCA 58-1932-5-534), anthelmintic effects of crude alcoholic extracts and individual constituents of A. annua and extracts of other medicinal and tannin-containing plants are being evaluated using a screening system based on the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Other collaborative studies have confirmed that an orange oil emulsion administered to H. contortus-infected sheep effectively reduces fecal worm egg numbers and the worm burden. Laboratory parasitological assays conducted with chicory extracts have revealed that sesquiterpene lactones differ in their ability to inhibit H. contortus larval motility and suppress hatching of H. contortus eggs. Bulk sesquiterpene lactone extracts have been prepared from chicory herbage and are being tested in a gerbil model system at Virginia Tech to investigate differential effects of sesquiterpene lactones on worm burdens. A technique for quantifying third stage larvae of H. contortus on pasture plants has been developed and submitted for patent consideration. The method is being used to examine physical and chemical disruption of the life cycle of the parasite. Substantial progress has been made in developing a chromatographic procedure for quantification of cichorin. A rumen in vitro fermentation experiment using various plants and plant extracts was completed to identify shifts in rumen bacterial, protozoal, archeal and fungal populations. This project will provide plant materials and associated management strategies to expand forage options and H. contortus control strategies for small ruminants in humid, temperate climates. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations Scientists have participated in activities targeting small farms and socially disadvantaged/limited resource/historically under-served producers in Appalachia: 1) participation at the American Forage and Grassland Council annual meeting; 2) collaboration on a SARE grant awarded to Ohio State University Extension personnel for evaluation of the use of non-traditional forages for gastrointestinal parasite control in small ruminants; and 3) education of small ruminant extension agents and producers in the management and use of traditional and non- traditional forages for improved nutrition and health of sheep and goats at a Southwest Pennsylvania Sheep and Goat Workshop. Accomplishments 01 Meat goats will eat chicory containing beneficial anthelmintic compounds Control of gastrointestinal worms is one of the most serious problems facing producers in the rapidly growing meat goat industry. Forage chicory contains compounds that may help goats tolerate worms, but the bitter taste of the forage has reduced intake in other livestock species Scientists at the ARS lab in Beaver, WV, determined that goats could detect bitterness differences among chicory forages, but this did not reduce their willingness to eat it. Therefore, chicory with greater amounts of beneficial compounds can be fed to goats in order to provide alternative to ineffective commercial dewormers. 02 Anthelmintic potential of chicory forage is influenced by sesquiterpene lactone composition. Forage chicory is promoted for use in sheep and go pastures to control gastrointestinal parasites like the barber pole worm Although anthelmintic activity of chicory herbage has been attributed to natural compounds called sesquiterpene lactones, the anthelmintic capaci of individual sesquiterpene lactones has not been defined. Using a laboratory assay, ARS researchers at Beaver, West Virginia, showed that one of the sesquiterpene lactones was much less effective than another i inhibiting hatching of barber pole worm eggs. Thus, chicory plants with high concentration of the more effective compound would be preferable in small ruminant pastures. This information is valuable for selecting amo available cultivars for grazing applications and for developing a new chicory cultivar with improved anthelmintic potential. This decision support tool will help ensure long-term economic viability for sheep and goat producers and availability of small ruminant meat products for consumers. 03 Orange oils have potential for controlling barber pole worms in sheep. Controlling barber pole worms (Haemonchus contortus) is a major problem for sheep and goat producers because this gastrointestinal parasite has developed resistance to commercial dewormers. Collaborative studies conducted by scientists at the ARS lab in Beaver, West Virginia, and the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech showed that orange-peel oils administered to sheep infected with barber pole worms reduced the number of parasite eggs excreted in the feces by 90% a the number of worms in the gastrointestinal tract by 50%. Thus, orange oils have promise as a natural dewormer. This information is valuable f developing both an alternative dewormer for small ruminants and a compatible parasite control option for organic livestock production systems.

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Ferreira, J.F., Luthria, D.L. 2010. DRYING AFFECTS ARTEMISININ, DIHYDROARTEMISINIC ACID, ARTEMISINIC ACID, AND THE ANTIOXIDANT CAPACITY OF ARTEMISIA ANNUA L. LEAVES. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 58:1691-1698.
  • Cassida, K.A., Foster, J.G., Turner, K.E. 2010. Forage characteristics affecting meat goat preferences for forage chicory cultivars. Agronomy Journal. 102:1109-1117.
  • Squires, J.M., Foster, J.G., Lindsay, D.S., Daudell, D., Zajac, A.M. 2010. Efficacy of an orange oil emulsion as an anthelmintic against Haemonchus contortus in gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus) and in sheep (Ovis aries). Veterinary Parasitology. 172(1-2):95-99.


Progress 10/01/08 to 09/30/09

Outputs
Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) Identify non-traditional plant resources and associated management methods with potential to enhance nutrition and health of small ruminants produced in central Appalachia. Specific objective 1: Identify plant resources and determine plant growth characteristics and management practices that can expand forage options. Specific objective 2: Identify plant resources and plant management strategies that can help control gastrointestinal helminths which infect small ruminants. Approach (from AD-416) Controlled environment, field plot, and laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine growth habit, herbage yield, and chemical composition of non-traditional pasture legumes, forbs and grasses with potential for use as forage or forage supplements for small ruminants. Emphasis will be placed on plant species having physical properties or chemical constituents that disrupt the life cycle of the gastrointestinal nematode, Haemonchus contortus or provide immune system support for the ruminant. Non-traditional plant species used in these studies include condensed tannin-containing legumes, American potato bean, purslane, artemisia, and chicory. Condensed tannin-containing forage species will be evaluated for economic potential for hay production under central Appalachian growing conditions using criteria of yield, forage quality, and stand persistence. Native Appalachian plant species that have the potential to provide sufficient yield and bioactive constituents for small ruminants will be identified. The effect of plant species, management, and season on antioxidant capacity of traditional and non- traditional forage species will be measured using samples from multi-year field studies. The influence of edaphic and solar conditions on physical and chemical properties of plant resources will be determined using plants grown with and without mineral deficiencies, with varying levels of UV light, or with natural radiation attenuation. Potential adverse effects of non-traditional plant resources on rumen metabolism and potential alterations in bioactivity by rumen microbial activity will be assessed using in vitro rumen fermentation assays. Anthelmintic activity of plant materials and isolated constituents will be determined using in vitro and in vivo parasite assays. The effect of plant morphology, sward density, and canopy height on hatching and migration of parasite larvae will be evaluated to determine how physical characteristics of pastures can be manipulated to disrupt the parasite life cycle. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations Plots containing nontraditional legumes with potential bioactivity have been established at high and low altitude sites in WV and PA for adaptation studies. Tannin concentrations in herbage are being quantified. Experimental procedures needed to investigate effects of UV light on tanniferous forages are being refined. Research on breeding and management strategies to maximize herbage yield, nutritional value, and medicinal properties of purslane, American potato bean, and cup plant has been conducted by project affiliates under SCA 58-1932-7-767. Lespedeza and birdsfoot trefoil have been grown in sand culture with nutrient deficiencies, and the oxygen radical absorbance capacity of lipophilic extracts of the herbage have been determined. A preliminary rumen in vitro fermentation experiment was completed to evaluate the impact of commercial dewormers and isolated plant constituents on rumen bacterial populations using metagenomic procedures to identify shifts in bacterial, protozoal, archeal, and fungal populations. Rumen fermentation studies with chicory to evaluate the impact on dry matter digestion, volatile fatty acid patterns, and changes to secondary compounds have been initiated. In vitro parasite assays are being used to determine effects of chicory cultivars, chicory sesquiterpene lactones, orange oils, and extracts and constituents of Artemisia annua on H. contortus egg hatching and larval motility. A. annua plants that have high concentrations of artemisinic acid and dihydroartemisinic acid, are being selected. In collaboration with Virginia Tech parasitologists (SCA 58-1932-5-534), effects of A. annua extracts and components thereof, chicory sesquiterpene lactones, and orange oils on mature H. contortus have been evaluated using a gerbil model system. Sheep artificially infected with H. contortus have been treated with orange oils, and treatment effects on worm egg numbers in feces and worm burdens in sheep are being determined. Methods to quantify third- stage larvae of H. contortus on pastures are in the validation phase and studies on physical disruption of the life cycle of the parasite are being initiated. The potential use of orange oils as a pasture treatment for control of H. contortus is being studied in controlled environments. Herbage from chicory cultivars has been analyzed to determine whether differences in condensed tannin concentrations exist and how sesquiterpene lactone concentration and composition change during the growing season. Sesquiterpene lactone extracts have been prepared from the cultivars Puna and Forage Feast and used to demonstrate differential anthelmintic effects of individual constituents. The sesquiterpene lactone concentration in feces from goats and sheep grazing chicory are being determined. Procedures for extraction and quantification of cichoriin in chicory are being developed. This project will provide plant materials and associated management strategies to expand forage options and gastrointestinal parasite control strategies for small ruminants in humid, temperate climates. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations A research update was presented at the Appalachian Grazing Conference, March 6-7, 2009, in Morgantown, WV. A workshop and research update on improving small ruminant grazing practices for small farms in central Appalachia was conducted with the Mountain State University Medicinal Botanicals Program (SCA 58-1932-7-767) on July 11, 2009, in Beaver, WV. Technology Transfer Number of Other Technology Transfer: 7

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Ferreira, J.F., Gonzalez, J.M. 2009. Analysis of underivatized artemisinin and related sesquiterpene lactones by high-performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection. Phytochemical Analysis. 20:91- 97.
  • Brisibe, E.A., Umoren, U.E., Brisibe, F., Magalhaes, P.M., Ferreira, J.F., Luthria, D.L., Wu, X., Prior, R. 2009. Nutritional characterization and antioxidant capacity of different tissues of Artemisia Annua L. Food Chemistry. 115:1240-1246.
  • Ferreira, J.F., Gonzalez, J.M. 2008. CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL STABILITY OF ARTEMISININ IN COW RUMEN FLUID AND ITS KINETICS IN GOATS (CAPRA HIRCUS). Brazilian Journal of Veterinary Parasitology. 17(1):103-109.


Progress 10/01/07 to 09/30/08

Outputs
Progress Report Objectives (from AD-416) Identify non-traditional plant resources and associated management methods with potential to enhance nutrition and health of small ruminants produced in central Appalachia. Specific objective 1: Identify plant resources and determine plant growth characteristics and management practices that can expand forage options. Specific objective 2: Identify plant resources and plant management strategies that can help control gastrointestinal helminths which infect small ruminants. Approach (from AD-416) Controlled environment, field plot, and laboratory experiments will be conducted to determine growth habit, herbage yield, and chemical composition of non-traditional pasture legumes, forbs and grasses with potential for use as forage or forage supplements for small ruminants. Emphasis will be placed on plant species having physical properties or chemical constituents that disrupt the life cycle of the gastrointestinal nematode, Haemonchus contortus or provide immune system support for the ruminant. Non-traditional plant species used in these studies include condensed tannin-containing legumes, American potato bean, purslane, artemisia, and chicory. Condensed tannin-containing forage species will be evaluated for economic potential for hay production under central Appalachian growing conditions using criteria of yield, forage quality, and stand persistence. Native Appalachian plant species that have the potential to provide sufficient yield and bioactive constituents for small ruminants will be identified. The effect of plant species, management, and season on antioxidant capacity of traditional and non- traditional forage species will be measured using samples from multi-year field studies. The influence of edaphic and solar conditions on physical and chemical properties of plant resources will be determined using plants grown with and without mineral deficiencies, with varying levels of UV light, or with natural radiation attenuation. Potential adverse effects of non-traditional plant resources on rumen metabolism and potential alterations in bioactivity by rumen microbial activity will be assessed using in vitro rumen fermentation assays. Anthelmintic activity of plant materials and isolated constituents will be determined using in vitro and in vivo parasite assays. The effect of plant morphology, sward density, and canopy height on hatching and migration of parasite larvae will be evaluated to determine how physical characteristics of pastures can be manipulated to disrupt the parasite life cycle. Significant Activities that Support Special Target Populations This project was initiated in 2008. Most experiments are in the implementation stage and preliminary results will not be available until 2009. Plots containing non-traditional legumes with potential as dual purpose forages in central Appalachia have been established at high and low altitude sites in WV and PA for adaptation studies. Tannin concentrations in herbage are being quantified. Experimental procedures needed to investigate effects of UV light on tanniferous forages are being refined. In collaboration with parasitologists at Virginia Tech, the effects of selected plant materials on mature Haemonchus contortus (barberpole worm), a major gastrointestinal parasite in sheep and goats, are being investigated using a gerbil model system. In vitro parasite assays are being used to determine whether sesquiterpene lactone constituents in Artemisia annua and forage chicory inhibit H. contortus egg embryonation and hatching and larval motility. Germplasm of A. annua has been screened to identify plants with high concentrations of artemisinin, and selected specimens have been cloned for further evaluation. Herbage from chicory cultivars is being analyzed to determine whether differences in condensed tannin concentrations exist and whether concentrations vary with season and environmental conditions. Degradation of sesquiterpene lactones in rumen fluid, and the presence of sesquiterpene lactones in feces from sheep grazing chicory, are being assessed. A collaborative 2-year SARE research proposal to study the use of chicory pastures for parasite control has been funded. Methods to quantify third stage larvae of H. contortus on pastures are being developed to support studies on physical disruption of the life cycle of the parasite. The potential use of a citrus oil formulation as a pasture treatment for control of H. contortus is being studied in controlled environments. Analytical tools to measure the antioxidant potential of forages have been acquired, and methods for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ferric reducing antioxidant power, and total phenolics have been adapted to obtain preliminary data for representative forages. Sand culture procedures are being implemented to determine nutrient limitations on condensed tannin concentrations and antioxidant capacity of tannin-containing forages. This project is aligned with NP 215, Pasture, Forage, Turf and Range Land Systems; Component 2. Pasture Management Systems to Improve Economic Viability and Enhance the Environment; Problem Statement D. Need for appropriate plant materials to improve the economic viability and enhance the environment in pasture- based livestock systems, and will provide plant materials and associated management strategies to expand forage options and gastrointestinal parasite control strategies for small ruminants in humid, temperate climates. Technology Transfer Number of Other Technology Transfer: 1

Impacts
(N/A)

Publications

  • Liu, S., Tian, N., Liu, Z., Huang, J., Li, J., Ferreira, J.F. 2008. An affordable and sensitive determination of artemisinin in Artemisia annua L. by gas chromatography with electron capture detector. Journal of Chromatography A. 1190:302-306.