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:2/22/2017)... LONDON , Feb. 22, 2017 ... by 2021, ABI Research identifies four technologies that ... solutions to secure significant share in the changing ... payments, and passive authentication.   "Companies ... it comes to security," says Dimitrios Pavlakis ...
(Date:2/14/2017)... WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. , Feb. 14, 2017  Wake ... FRY-shlog), M.D., as its new chief executive officer (CEO). ... succeeds CEO John D. McConnell , M.D., who ... new position at the Medical Center, after leading it ... oversee the full scope of Wake Forest Baptist,s academic ...
(Date:2/9/2017)... , Feb. 9, 2017 The biomass ... analysis of the biomass boiler market globally in terms ... of biomass boilers. The market for biomass boilers has ... type, end-user, application, and country/region. The market based on ... & forest residues, biogas & energy crops, urban residues, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/23/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... The Global Market for Bioproducts Should Reach $714.6 Billion by ... 8.9%, This research report quantifies the two ... segments: bio-derived chemicals, biofuels, pharmaceuticals (biodrugs and herbal/botanicals), biocomposite materials, ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 2017  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE MKT: BPMX), a ... market, today reported financial results for the quarter ... provide an update on the company,s clinical development ... "We are pleased to report that last year ... President Anja Krammer. "We achieved key clinical milestones ...
(Date:3/23/2017)... 23, 2017 According to a report by ... market is fragmented due to the presence of a large pool of ... Thermo Fisher , and Sigma-Aldrich, compete with each other in this ... held more than 76% of this market in 2016.  ... As of now, a large ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... N.Y. , March 22, 2017 Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, ... the Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC), U.K. Biobank and GSK to ... the U.K. Biobank resource. The initiative will enable researchers to ... new medicines for a wide range of serious and life ... ...
Breaking Biology Technology: