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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Plant seeds as sources of potential industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals and pest control agents

item Powell, Richard

Submitted to: Journal of Natural Products
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/5/2009
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Investigations of natural products isolated from seeds have resulted in a remarkable variety of compounds having unusual structures and properties. Seeds of many species contained uncommon fatty acids and lipids, some of which have found uses in the cosmetic industry or as renewable (non-petroleum based) industrial raw materials. In addition to proteins and energy storage substances such as carbohydrates and lipids, seeds generally contain, or have the ability to produce, protective compounds that are active as plant-growth regulators, fungicides, insecticides, and repellents of herbivores; seeds occasionally contain compounds that are toxic to most other organisms. These compounds may also be present in other plant parts, but often are found at higher concentrations in seeds. Other compounds of interest have been associated with plant-endophyte interactions that are of mutual benefit to both organisms. Tests of seed extracts for cytotoxic and antitumor activity, toxicity to insects, and relationships to several animal disease syndromes have been revealing. Examples of compounds isolated from plant seeds that have served as lead compounds for additional research, or that continue to be of interest to researchers in multiple areas, are reviewed.

Last Modified: 10/16/2017
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