Navigation Links
Moose drool inhibits growth of toxic fungus: York U research
Date:7/24/2014

TORONTO, June 24, 2014 Some sticky research out of York University shows a surprisingly effective way to fight against a certain species of toxic grass fungus: moose saliva (yes moose saliva).

Published in this month's Biology Letters, "Ungulate saliva inhibits a grassendophyte mutualism" shows that moose and reindeer saliva, when applied to red fescue grass (which hosts a fungus called epichlo festucae that produces the toxin ergovaline) results in slower fungus growth and less toxicity.

"Plants have evolved defense mechanisms to protect themselves, such as thorns, bitter-tasting berries, and in the case of certain types of grass, by harbouring toxic fungus deep within them that can be dangerous or even fatal for grazing animals," says York U Biology Professor Dawn Bazely, who worked with University of Cambridge researcher Andrew Tanentzap and York U researcher Mark Vicari on the project. "We wanted to find out how moose were able to eat such large quantities of this grass without negative effects."

Inspired by an earlier study that showed that moose grazing and saliva distribution can have a positive effect on plant growth, the research team set out to test an interesting hypothesis whether moose saliva may, in fact, "detoxify" the grass before it is eaten.

Working in partnership with the Toronto Zoo, the team collected saliva samples from moose and reindeer, which they then smeared onto clipped samples of red fescue grass carrying the toxic fungus, simulating the effect of grazing. They found that the application of saliva produced rapid results, inhibiting fungus growth within 12-36 hours.

"We found that the saliva worked very quickly in slowing the growth of the fungus, and the fungus colonies," says Bazely. "In addition, by applying multiple applications of saliva to the grass over the course of two months, we found we could lower the concentration of ergovaline between 41 and 70 per cent."

Bazely says that because moose tend to graze within a defined home range, it's possible that certain groups of plants are receiving repeated exposure to the moose saliva, which over time has resulted in fewer toxins within their preferred area.

"We know that animals can remember if certain plants have made them feel ill, and they may avoid these plants in future," says Bazely. "This study the first evidence, to our knowledge, of herbivore saliva being shown to 'fight back' and slow down the growth of the fungus."

York University is helping to shape the global thinkers and thinking that will define tomorrow. York's unwavering commitment to excellence reflects a rich diversity of perspectives and a strong sense of social responsibility that sets us apart. A York U degree empowers graduates to thrive in the world and achieve their life goals through a rigorous academic foundation balanced by real-world experiential education. As a globally recognized research centre, York is fully engaged in the critical discussions that lead to innovative solutions to the most pressing local and global social challenges. York's 11 faculties and 28 research centres are thinking bigger, broader and more globally, partnering with 288 leading universities worldwide. York's community is strong − 55,000 students, 7,000 faculty and staff, and more than 250,000 alumni.


'/>"/>

Contact: Robin Heron
rheron@yorku.ca
416-736-2100 x22097
York University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Coyote more likely to make a meal out of moose than we thought: Study
2. Maple syrup, moose, and the local impacts of climate change
3. Somatosensory stimulation inhibits excitability of pyramidal cells in rat hippocampal CA1
4. Acidic tumor pH inhibits drug effect
5. Gabapentin inhibits central sensitization during migraine
6. How the Parkin enzyme inhibits neuronal cell death
7. Active component from wine-processed Fructus corni inhibits hippocampal neuron apoptosis
8. Gene transduction inhibits post-epileptic hippocampal synaptic reconstruction
9. New agent inhibits HCV replication in mouse models -- No resistance seen
10. Molecule found that inhibits estrogen, key risk factor for endometrial and breast cancers
11. An increase in temperature by 2050 may be advantageous to the growth of forage plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Moose drool inhibits growth of toxic fungus: York U research
(Date:3/27/2017)... March 27, 2017  Catholic Health Services (CHS) ... Systems Society (HIMSS) Analytics for achieving Stage 6 ... sm . In addition, CHS previously earned a ... using an electronic medical record (EMR). ... level of EMR usage in an outpatient setting.  ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... , Mar 24, 2017 Research and ... Access System Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" ... ... to grow at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next ... This industry report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their offering. ... The Global Vehicle ... around 8.8% over the next decade to reach approximately $14.21 billion ... estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on global as ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/22/2017)... , ... May 22, 2017 , ... Stratevi, a boutique ... to the East Coast. It has opened an office in downtown Boston at 745 ... finding it increasingly more important to generate evidence on the value they provide, not ...
(Date:5/19/2017)... Shirley, New York (PRWEB) , ... May 19, 2017 , ... ... therapy techniques in treating gait disorders, Biodex Medical Systems, Inc. announces the release of ... time music therapy has been joined with a biomedical system to aid in rehabilitating ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... May 17, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... CEO of Eurofins Advantar Laboratories and President of Pharmaceutical Development Business Unit of Cardinal ... at Eurofins and Cardinal Health, he was former Chief Operating Officer at Anaborex, Senior ...
(Date:5/18/2017)... ... 17, 2017 , ... G-CON Manufacturing, Inc., the leader in ... Jornitz, was recognized as a Top 10 Industry Influencer on The Medicine Maker’s ... bettering the pharma industry and bringing life-changing medicines to market” across four categories. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: