Development of New Measurements and Tools to Mitigate Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle

  • James E. Koltes (Iowa State University)
  • Daniel H. Poole (North Carolina State University)
  • Stephan Schmitz-Esser (Iowa State University)
  • Jiangchao Zhao (University of Arkansas)
  • Sarah Chewning (University of Arkansas)
  • Don Hubbell (University of Arkansas)
  • Nick V. L. Serão (Iowa State University)


The objective of this study was to identify new ways to determine the severity of fescue toxicosis and identify genetic differences in fescue impacted traits as a basis in understanding how cattle could be selected for tolerance to fescue toxicosis. We identified across breed and within breed differences in heat stress related traits and growth rate in pregnant cows exposed to toxic fescue. In addition, new biomarkers were identified to differentiate susceptible and tolerant cattle in the form of specific fecal and vaginal microbes. Finally, we identified differentially expressed (DE) genes in high versus low tolerant cattle on toxic fescue. These findings may allow more accurate diagnosis of fescue toxicosis and provide a glimpse into the genes and microorganisms that may impact tolerance or susceptibility to toxic fescue.

How to Cite:

Koltes, J. E. & Poole, D. H. & Schmitz-Esser, S. & Zhao, J. & Chewning, S. & Hubbell, D. & Serão, N. V., (2018) “Development of New Measurements and Tools to Mitigate Fescue Toxicosis in Beef Cattle”, Iowa State University Animal Industry Report 15(1). doi:

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Published on
01 Jan 2018
Peer Reviewed