Encyclopedia of Entomology

2008 Edition
| Editors: John L. Capinera


  • Cyrus Abivardi
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-6359-6_3922

Furanocoumarins (or furocoumarins) are known to exert photodynamic action. Furanocoumarins are of special interest from entomological, medicinal, public health, and environmental viewpoints because of their high photobiological activity. Wavelengths in the near ultraviolet (i.e., UV-A: 320–380 nm) are the most effective spectra, even though furanocoumarins absorb relatively poorly in this region. Although plants containing photosensitizing furanocoumarins have been used by Indian and Egyptian civilizations for more than 3,000 years to treat certain skin disorders, it was only in the middle of the last century (late 1940s) that the photosensitizing and pigment-stimulating agents in these plants were identified. Extensive research on different aspects of furanocoumarins has been conducted since this discovery.

Furanocoumarins are a group of heterocyclic compounds in which the furan ring is fused with coumarin. They arise in nature from two configurations of the basic tricyclic ring...
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cyrus Abivardi
    • 1
  1. 1.Swiss Federal Institute of TechnologyZurichSwitzerland