The isolation and identification of steroidal sapogenins in switchgrass

J Nat Toxins. 2001 Nov;10(4):273-81.


Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) has been reported to be hepatotoxic, causing photosensitization in lambs and horses. In this study we show the presence of steroidal saponins in two samples of switchgrass that has been implicated in the poisonings of sheep and horses. After hydrolysis of the saponins, diosgenin was determined to be the major sapogenin in both switchgrass samples. We also confirmed the presence of diosgenin in kleingrass after hydrolysis of saponins extracted from it.

MeSH terms

  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Flow Injection Analysis
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hydrolysis
  • Panicum / chemistry*
  • Sapogenins / isolation & purification*
  • Saponins / isolation & purification*


  • Sapogenins
  • Saponins