Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 823–834 | Cite as

Toxicological action and ecological importance of plant photosensitizers

  • K. R. Downum
  • E. Rodriguez


This review discusses the biochemical action and ecological significance of phototoxic phytochemicals. Mechanistic details of photosensitization as well as cellular and molecular targets of plant-derived phototoxins in model biological systems (microbial and in vitro) and in herbivorous insects are described. Findings from these studies suggest the potential importance of phototoxic plant metabolites in plant-insect interactions. Aspects of phototoxin distribution and significance in diverse ecosystems are considered, and areas for future research are suggested.

Key words

Phototoxic phytochemicals insect photosensitization mechanisms of photosensitization plant-insect interactions 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. R. Downum
    • 1
  • E. Rodriguez
    • 1
  1. 1.Phytochemical Laboratory Department of Ecology and Evolutionary BiologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvine

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