A High-throughput Method for the Quantification of Proanthocyanidins in Forage Crops and its Application in Assessing Variation in Condensed Tannin Content in Breeding Programmes for Lotus corniculatus and Lotus uliginosus

Type Article
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)974-981
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Issue number3
Early online date15 Jan 2008
Publication statusPublished - 2008
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Lotus corniculatus and Lotus uliginosus are agronomically important forage crops used in ruminant livestock production. The condensed tannin (CT) content, dry matter (DM) production, and persistence of these species are key characteristics of interest for future exploitation of these crops. Here we present field data on 19 varieties of L. corniculatus, 2 varieties of L. uliginosus and, additionally, a glasshouse experiment using 6 varieties of L. corniculatus and 2 varieties of L. uliginosus. Current methods for the quantification of condensed tannins in crop species are slow and labor intensive and are generally based upon polymer hydrolysis following the extraction of chlorophyll in a liquid phase. Presented here is a high-throughput protocol for condensed tannin quantification suitable for microtiter plates based upon the precipitation of condensed tannin polymers in complex with bovine serum albumin (BSA) with subsequent hydrolysis of precipates using butan 1-ol/hydrochloric acid.


  • Lotus, condensed tannins, proanthocyanidins, protein precipitation, forage quality