MadSci Network: Botany

Re: What parts of a plant cell actually have the medicinal value?

Date: Wed Feb 9 20:16:27 2005
Posted By: David Hershey, Faculty, Botany, NA
Area of science: Botany
ID: 1107919084.Bt
Message:

Plant medicinal compounds are secondary compounds, most of which function in
plant defense. The first reference indicates most secondary compounds would be
in the vacuole or "specific vesicles." Collectively, plants make well over
10,000 secondary compounds. 

While not necessarily considered medicines, anthocyanins are antioxidants, which
can prevent cancers and possibly other diseases. Anthocyanins give colors to
many fruits, vegetables and flowers and are located in vacuoles. Lycopene and
other carotenoids are also antioxidents and are located in plastids, either
chloroplasts or chromoplasts. The red color of tomato fruit is due to lycopene. 

Are you interested in specific medicinal compounds such as taxol, vincristine,
reserpine, morphine, chaulmoogra, atropine, quinine and digitalis?


References


The Secondary Metabolism of Plants: Secondary Defence Compounds


Plants as a factory to produce molecules


Re: what good is a vacuole?


Top Ten Antioxidant Foods


Writeups and illustrations of economically important plants


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