Influence of form of selenium supplementation and tall fescue endophyte toxicity on growth performance, serum parameters, and tissue masses of grazing beef steers

Kelsie L. Webb, Ronald J. Trotta, Yang Jia, Phillip J. Bridges, James C. Matthews

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1 Scopus citations


To test the hypothesis that average daily gain (ADG) and clinical parameters of steers grazing novel non-toxic (NTE) or toxic KY-31 (TE) endophyte-infected tall fescue would be improved by ad libitum intake of vitamin-mineral mixes (V-M) that contain 27 ppm Se as a 1:1 blend of SELPLEX:sodium selenite (MIX) vs. sodium selenite (ISe), 32 fescue-naïve beef steers partially depleted of Se were randomly assigned to ad libitum consumption ISe vs. MIX for 35 days and fed enough of a NTE/alfalfa/grain diet to achieve 0.57 kg BW gain/day. Then, within Se-form treatments, two steers were randomly assigned to each of four NTE (ISe = 316 ± 31 kg BW, MIX = 315 ± 22 kg BW) or TE (ISe = 316 ± 37 kg BW, MIX = 314 ± 39 kg BW) paddocks for 84 days and had ad libitum access to their respective V-M. The MIXED procedure of SAS was used to assess effects of day, Se-form (ISe, MIX) and endophyte (NTE, TE) treatments, and their interactions. Whole blood Se decreased (P < 0.01) 31% from days 0 to 84 and was 6.2% greater (P < 0.01) for MIX steers. Serum prolactin decreased (P < 0.01) 18% for NTE and 48% for TE steers from days 0 to 84 and was 17% greater (P = 0.01) for MIX vs. ISe for TE steers. Serum alkaline phosphatase activity decreased (P < 0.02) 27% from days 0 to 84 and was 15% greater (P < 0.02) for MIX steers. Serum urea nitrogen increased (P < 0.02) 8.2% from days 0 to 84 for TE but not NTE steers. Average daily gain was less (P < 0.01) for steers grazing TE (-0.18 kg/day) compared with NTE (0.09 kg/d). Although there was increased serum alkaline phosphatase activity and increased serum prolactin for TE + MIX steers compared with TE + ISe steers, MIX supplementation was unable to increase serum prolactin concentrations or ADG to the same levels as steers grazing NTE. Longer adaptation to MIX supplementation ad libitum may be necessary for maximal Se assimilation to restore serum prolactin levels in steers grazing TE.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbertxac122
JournalTranslational Animal Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work is supported by a United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service Non-Assisted Cooperative Agreement (J.C.M., P.J.B.) and by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Hatch project No. 1010352.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Society of Animal Science.


  • alkaline phosphatase
  • fescue toxicosis
  • pituitary
  • prolactin
  • supplemental selenium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Veterinary (all)


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