• Margaret F. Roberts
  • Michael Wink


The alkaloids are one of the most diverse groups of secondary metabolites found in living organisms and have an array of structure types, biosynthetic pathways, and pharmacological activities. Although alkaloids have been traditionally isolated from plants, an increasing number are to be found in animals, insects, and marine invertebrates and microorganisms. Many alkaloids have been used for hundreds of years in medicine and some are still prominent drugs today. Hence, this group of compounds has had great prominence in many fields of scientific endeavor and continues to be of great interest today. Why do plants expend so much of their vital resources on the biosynthesis of alkaloids? How do they produce alkaloids and what are the mechanisms of regulation of biosynthesis and location within the plant? How does the plant store these substances which can occur at levels toxic to the producing cell itself? It has to be assumed that they have an important role in a plant’s survival. We hope this book which is organized in four main parts will give some insight into these questions.


Anthranilic Acid Indole Alkaloid Papaver Somniferum Musk Deer Feeding Deterrent 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret F. Roberts
    • 1
  • Michael Wink
    • 2
  1. 1.The Centre for Pharmacognosy, School of PharmacyUniversity of LondonLondonEngland
  2. 2.Institute for Pharmaceutical BiologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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