The Biochemistry of Alkaloids

  • Trevor Robinson

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-X
  2. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 1-7
  3. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 8-14
  4. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 41-47
  5. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 48-53
  6. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 54-62
  7. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 63-71
  8. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 72-76
  9. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 77-91
  10. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 97-104
  11. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 105-114
  12. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 115-124
  13. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 125-135
  14. Trevor Robinson
    Pages 136-140
  15. Back Matter
    Pages 141-151

About this book


The alkaloids were of great importance to mankind for centuries, long before they were recognized as a chemical class. The influence they have had on literature is hinted at by some of the quotations I have used as chapter headings. Their in­ fluence on folklore and on medicine has been even greater. The scientific study of alkaloids may be said to have begun with the isolation of morphine by SERTURNER in 1804. Since that time they have remained of great interest to chemists, and now in any month there appear dozens of publications dealing with the isolation of new alkaloids or the determination of the structures of previously known ones. The area of alkaloid biochemistry, in comparison, has received little attention, and today is much less developed. There is a certain amount of personal arbitrariness in defining "biochemistry", as there is in defining "alkaloid", and this arbitrariness is doubtless compounded by the combination. Nevertheless, it seems to me that in any consideration of the bio­ chemistry of a group of compounds three aspects are always worthy of attention­ pathways of biosynthesis, function or activity, and pathways of degradation. For the alkaloids, treatment of these three aspects is necessarily lopsided. Much has been learned about routes of biosynthesis, but information on the other aspects is very scanty. It would be possible to enter into some speculation regarding the biosyn­ thesis of all the more than 1,000 known alkaloids.


Termination alkaloids biochemistry biosynthesis chemistry synthesis

Authors and affiliations

  • Trevor Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of MassachusettsAmherstUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1968
  • Publisher Name Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-3-540-04275-4
  • Online ISBN 978-3-662-01015-0
  • Series Print ISSN 0077-0221
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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