Ergot alkaloids

Ergot alkaloids Mycotoxins

Ergot alkaloids are large group of toxin compounds produced by certain fungi belonging to the genus Claviceps and its close relatives of fungi -Strains of C. purpurea, C. paspali and C. fusiformis.

Ergots are compact masses of hardened fungal mycelium called sclerotia that contain nutrient reserves in fungi. Thus, it helps fungi to survive adverse conditions.

Ergot alkaloids such as dihydroergotamine and ergotamine are used in pharmacological applications. Ergot alkaloids poisoning can increase complexity of cardiovascular function, increase uterine motility, can cause vomiting, decreased circulation, weak pulse, nausea and could lead to coma. In livestock, these poisons can cause issues with reproductive performances.

Image credit: Thank you: Beef Cattle Research Council

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: January 25, 2021

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