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Crop Science Abstract -

Quick Test for Reed Canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) Alkaloid Concentration1


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 13 No. 5, p. 548-551
    Received: Mar 18, 1973

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  1. J. R. Frelich and
  2. G. C. Marten2



We modified a generalized, plant-alkaloid screening procedure to provide a quick, semiquantitative test for concern tatioii of total basic alkaloids in reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea L.). The test is based upon ocular assessment of discernible differences in turbidity or precipitates produced by silicotungstic acid added to plant extracts. The extracts are prepared by macerating frozen grass in ammoniacal chloroform and then by partitioning into 2 N H2SO4.

Alkaloid concentrations determined by a summation of readings over five dilutions using the quick test were highly correlated (r = 0.94, P ≤ .01) with concentrations determined by the quantitative laboratory test of Simons and Marten (1971). The quick test is about four times faster than the Simons and Marten test and should enable plant breeders to select low-alkaloid plants or alkaloid-free plants among large numbers of genotypes.

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