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Abstract Detail


Hunter, Elizabeth Sage [1], Literman, Robert [2], Handy, Sara [3].

Utilizing botanical big data to look for tiny toxic components.

Digitalis is a small botanical genus that is equal parts colorful, toxic, and medicinal. Its bioactivity was discovered in 1785, and the cardiac glycosides, digoxin and digitoxin have a long history of use in patients with heart disease. However, they also have an extremely narrow therapeutic range and digitalis associated toxicity was, at the height of its use, the most common adverse drug reaction in the United States. More recently, a case of contamination in botanical supplements arose in 1997, when two women presented with symptoms of toxicity consistent with Digitalis after consuming botanical supplements. Using chemical methods to detect cardiac glycosides, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) traced this event to a shipment of Plantago contaminated with Digitalis lanata. Over two decades later, with the rise of next generation sequencing, we asked whether this case could have been cracked with genomic data. Plantago and Digitalis are both members of the family Plantaginceae, making this an excellent case to test method sensitivity and specificity between closely related organisms. Using a recently developed bioinformatic pipeline, SISRS, we were able to identify a multitude of unique sites to discriminate between these genera, paving the way for the development of further DNA based assays to quickly and reliably detect the presence of toxic species Digitalis in similar food products or dietary supplements using genomic methods.

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1 - United States Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Science, HFS 706, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD, 20740, USA
2 - U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Science, HFS 706, 5001 Campus Dr. , College Park, MD, 20740, USA
3 - HFS-717, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD, 20740, United States

plant identification

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: PHYLOI, Phyogenomics I
Location: Virtual/Virtual
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 10:45 AM(EDT)
Number: PHYLOI004
Abstract ID:185
Candidate for Awards:None

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