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Plant Toxins

The Essences of Diversity and a Challenge to Research
  • Gary D. Manners
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 391)

Abstract

Historically, toxins from plants are associated with murder, assassination and suicide (Mann, 1992). The deaths of several famous historical figures have directly or indirectly involved toxins from poisonous plants. Socrates’ forced suicide involved a toxic alkaloid from poison hemlock (Conium maculatum), while the many victims of Livia (wife of Emperor Augustus) and Agrippina (wife of Claudius) succumbed to the toxic tropane alkaloids of deadly nightshade (Atropa belladona). Cleopatra is reported to have tested the extracts of several poisonous plants including henbane (Hyoscyamus niger), deadly nightshade and nux-vomica (Strychnos nu-vomica) on her slaves before she chose the asp.

Keywords

Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Cyanogenic Glycoside Poisonous Plant Monarch Butterfly Natural Toxin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary D. Manners
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Regional Research Center Agricultural Research ServiceUnited States Department of AgricultureAlbanyUSA

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