Submitted to: CRC Press
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/1/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary: This book chapter consists of a review of general concepts and principals that are common to naturally occurring agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Specific discussion focuses on a few important chemicals isolated from plants that have antifungal, insecticidal or anticancer activity. Also, fatty acids involved in signally defense related responses in plant and animal are discussed. Information presented in this chapter supports further investigation of plant-based chemicals for new agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals and future development of alternative agricultural crops for nontraditional uses.
Technical Abstract: Antibiotics, antineoplastics, herbicides, and insecticides often originate from plant and microbial defense mechanisms. Secondary metabolites once considered unimportant products are now thought to mediate plant defense mechanisms by providing chemical barriers against animal and microbial predators. This chemical warfare between plants and their pathogens consistently provides new natural product leads. Whether one studies toxins, herbicides or pharmaceuticals, chemical compounds follow basic rules of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Chemical properties of a molecule dictate its cellular and physiological responses and organisms will act to modulate that chemical response. Discovery and development of new biologically derived and environmentally friendly chemicals are being aggressively pursued by leading chemical and pharmaceutical companies. Future successful development and approval of these new chemicals will require knowledge of their common mechanisms in toxicology and pharmacology regardless of their applications to plants or animals.