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The degradation of Rhinanthus minor (yellow rattle) in vitro

  • R. Morgan (a1), D.B. Westbury (a1), K. E. Kliem (a1), G. Hervás (a1) and F. L. Mould (a1)...


Rhinanthus minor is a facultative hemiparasitic plant of the Scrophulariaceae family native to the British Isles. It is typically found in meadows associated with a high floristic diversity, but it can also be found in pasture, where it is susceptible to heavy grazing. Containing the iridoid glycoside rhinanthin (C29H52O20), R. minor is strongly suspected of being poisonous, but it is not clear how harmful this is to livestock (Long 1924). Through parasitism, particularly of the grasses, R. minor is also associated with a loss of grazing. Consequently, the presence of R. minor in a sward is often viewed negatively. However, through reductions in productivity of grasses, R. minor may have a role in the restoration of species-rich grasslands. As a result, the probability of cattle consuming R. minor might be expected to increase. This paper aims to evaluate the degradation of R. minor and discusses the implications of R. minor inclusion in the diet.


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Long., H.C., (1924) Plants poisonous to livestock. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.
Mauricio., R.M., Mould., F.L., Dhanoa., M.S., Owen, E., Channa., K.S., and Theodorou., M.K., (1999) A semi-automated in vitro gas production technique for ruminant feedstuff evaluation. Animal Feed Science and Technology 79: 321330.
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Proceedings of the British Society of Animal Science
  • ISSN: 1752-7562
  • EISSN: -
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-british-society-of-animal-science
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