Senecio spp.: Biochemistry of the Formation of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Root Cultures

  • T. Hartmann
Part of the Biotechnology in Agriculture and Forestry book series (AGRICULTURE, volume 26)


The genus Senecio (Asteraceae) is of cosmopolitan distribution and with ± 2000 species one of the largest genera of the plant kingdom. The most characteristic natural constituents found in Senecio species are the pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA). To date, 204 Senecio spp. have been reported to contain PA and the term “Senecio alkaloids” is still frequently used to account for the predominance of PA in Senecio species. The abundance of PA in species such as Senecio jacobaea (Fig. 1) is responsible for the high potential toxicity of most Senecio species.


Cell Suspension Culture Root Culture Pyrrolizidine Alkaloid Plant Cell Tissue Organ Cult Tropane Alkaloid 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Hartmann
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Pharmazeutische Biologie der Technischen UniversitätBraunschweigGermany

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