Glycoalkaloids of the Solanaceae

  • Stanley F. Osman
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 14)


Glycoalkaloids are nitrogenous steroidal glycosides that are found in most Solanum species. Defosses, in 1820,1 reported that the active principle of morel (S. nigrum) was an organic base which he named solanine. Baup2 reported the presence of solanine in potatoes and concluded it “will find a use in medicine…” More than a century later, Solanum glycoalkaloids have become important starting compounds for the commercial preparation of steroidal hormone intermediates. Glycoalkaloid research has not been restricted to chemical studies; the biological activity of these compounds has been extensively investigated, primarily in the context of plant resistance to pests and microorganisms and of human toxicity. The presence of glycoalkaloids in foods such as potatoes, tomatoes, and eggplant has always been of great concern; understandably, this concern has generated much research activity.


Potato Tuber Colorado Potato Beetle Solanum Species Potato Leafhopper Glycoalkaloid Content 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stanley F. Osman
    • 1
  1. 1.Eastern Regional Research CenterU.S. Department of AgriculturePhiladelphiaUSA

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