Toxic plants: a chemist’s perspective

  • Bryan A. Hanson
Part of the Experientia Supplementum book series (EXS, volume 100)


Chemistry has long been an integral part of toxicology, as the two fields originated in much the same way: the investigation of plants with interesting properties. In this chapter I review the role that chemistry has played in understanding toxic and medicinal plants. After some introductory remarks, three broad areas are addressed: the role of natural products in understanding plant taxonomy and evolution, recent developments in chemical synthesis, especially efforts to discover and efficiently synthesize novel structures based upon naturally occurring toxins, and finally, developments in the new field of systems toxicology, which seeks to integrate all aspects of an organism’s response to toxic insult.


Endophytic Fungus Chemical Space Aristolochic Acid Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Toxic Plant 
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

© Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bryan A. Hanson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Julian Science and Mathematics CenterDePauw UniversityGreencastleUSA

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