Plants and Nanoworld: an Introduction

  • Nadia Ghaffar
  • Sumera Javad


Nanoparticles are now making the history of twenty-first century. They are being widely used in different fields of applied sciences for the benefits of people. Their bulk synthesis is a target for scientists without harming the environment and natural resources. Chemical and physical methods are available for their synthesis but causing hazards to the environment and when bulk production of nanoparticles is required; these are not going to be cost effective. There comes the biological method, to synthesize the nanoparticles by using the plant materials, their metabolites or microbes. Plants secondary metabolites (also known as phytochemicals), are bioactive compounds in plants, which show both toxicological as well as pharmacological effects in humans and animals. In plants there are two metabolic pathways, one is primary metabolic or essential pathway, and other is secondary metabolic or non essential pathway, which is not essential for plant growth and development. They are produced in small quantity and are not required for the everyday functioning of plants but several secondary metabolites elicit a number of vital functions like signaling, detoxification, defense against predators etc. Their classification is based upon their chemical structure and their biosynthetic pathways. They are classified in three major groups: terpenoids, alkaloids and phenolics. In this chapter we will discuss plants secondary metabolites, their classification, function and pharmacological effects and their importance in nanoparticles synthesis.


  1. Anurag K, Anumalik Y, Nitika G, Swadesh K, Nikhil G, Santosh K, Vinay Y, Anuj P, Himanshu G (2015) Metabolites in plants and its classification. World J Pharm Pharmcal Sci 4(1):287–385Google Scholar
  2. Bernhoft A (2010) A brief review on bioactive compounds in plants. Department of Feed and Food Safety, National Veterinary Institute, P.O.Box 750 Sentrum, NO-0106 Oslo, NorwayGoogle Scholar
  3. Brito AM (2007) Synthesis and characterization of glycosides. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
  4. Clifford MN (1986) Phenol protein interactions and their possible significance for astringency. In: Birch GG, Lindley MG (eds) Interaction of food components. Elsevier Applied Science, London, pp 143–164Google Scholar
  5. Crozier A, Lean MEJ, McDonald MS (1997) Quantitative analysis of the flavonoid content of commercial tomatoes, onions, lettuce and celery. J Agr Food Chem 45(1):590–595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gaitan E, Lindsay RH, Reichert RD (1989) Antithyriodic and gioterogenic effects of millet: role of C-glycosyl flavones. J Clin Endocrin Metabol 68:707–714CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gandhi PT (2013) Novel nicotine derivatives US Patent, 20130123106Google Scholar
  8. Giweli AA, Dzamic AM, Sokovic M, Ristic M, Janackovic P, Marin P (2013) The chemical composition, antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of the essential oil of Salvia fruticosa growing wild in Libya. Arch Biol Sci 65(1):321–329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Harborne JB (1984) Phytochemical methods: a guide to modern techniques of plant analysis, 2nd edn. Chapman and Hall, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. James RC (2011) Medicinal plants: what makes them different from other plants. Natural guide to medicinal herbs and plants, Frantisek StaryGoogle Scholar
  11. Koes RE, Quattrocchio F, Mol JNM (1994) The flavonoid biosynthetic pathway in plants: function and evolution. BioEssays 16:123–132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Maffei M (2010) Sites of synthesis, biochemistry and functional role of plant volatiles. South Afr J Bot 76(4):612–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mahmoud SS, Croteau RB (2002) Strategies for transgenic manipulation of monoterpene biosynthesis in plants. Tren Plant Sci 7:366–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. McBrien NA, Stell WK, Carr B (2013) How does atropine exert its anti myopia effects? Ophthal Physiol Opt 33(3):373–378CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Panter KE, Welch KD, Gardner DR, Green BT (2013) Poisonous plants: effects on embryo and fetal development. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today 99(4):223–234CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Polt RL (1995) Method for making amino acid glycosides and glycopeptides, U.S. Patent No. 5,470,949. U.S. Patent and trademark office, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  17. RozovUng I, Mreyoud A, Moore J, Wilding GE, Khawam E, Lackner JM, Sitrin MD (2014) Detection of drug effects on gastric emptying and contractility using a wireless motility capsule. BMC Gastroenterol 14(1):2CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Sandhya BS, Thomas WI, Shenbagarathai R (2006) Complementary and alternative medicines 3:101–114Google Scholar
  19. Strack D (1997) Phenolic metabolism. Plant biochemistry. Academic, London, pp 387–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Styger G, Prior B, Bauer FF (2011) Wine flavor and aroma. J Indus Microorgan Biotech 38(9):1145–1159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Taiz L, Zeiger E (2010) Secondary metabolites in plant defense. Plant Physiol 22:395Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nadia Ghaffar
    • 1
  • Sumera Javad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BotanyLahore College for Women UniversityLahorePakistan

Personalised recommendations