Secondary Plant Substances as Materials for Chemical High Quality Breeding in Higher Plants

  • K. Mothes
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RBIO, volume 10)


The term “secondary plant substances” was coined by Czapek10. In his general survey of the occurrence of pyridine and quinoline bases in the plant kingdom, he wrote “Perhaps the sporadic occurrence of these bases and the inconstancy of their appearance in closely related plants gives evidence for the concept that the formation of such substances is not a general process belonging to all cell plasma, but that it is of a more secondary character.” K. Paech (1950) in his “Biochemie und Physiologie der sekundaren Pflanzenstoffe” mentioned the difficulties encountered in defining this group of substances and pointed out that a sufficient taxonomical separation of these substances is not given by their predominant occurrence in higher plants, since such plant substances sporadically may also appear in animals and in lower plants. This is accounted for by Luckner (1969) in his monograph which he entitled: “Der Sekundarstoffwechsel in Pflanze und Tier”. Today we might add: “und den Prokaryoten” because a great many substances have been identified in actinomycetes and bacteria which we call antibiotics and which show clearly that “secondary substances” are a general characteristic of living organisms.


Erucic Acid Ergot Alkaloid Opium Poppy Wild Form Ergo Line 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Mothes
    • 1
  1. 1.Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher LeopoldianaHalle (Saale)German Democratic Republic

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