Prosopis juliflora: Phytochemical, Toxicological, and Allelochemicals

  • Gabriel Azevedo de Brito Damasceno
  • Augusto Lopes Souto
  • Ivanice Bezerra da Silva
  • Alan de Araújo Roque
  • Márcio Ferrari
  • Raquel Brandt GiordaniEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the Reference Series in Phytochemistry book series (RSP)


Prosopis juliflora (Fabaceae), which is also known as mesquite, is particularly invasive in exotic environments and has become one of the world’s 100 most invasive species that is globally distributed. This scenario is mainly due to the allelochemicals released by its roots, leaves, and fruits that inhibit seed germination of neighboring species. Therefore, ecosystem-level changes create monospecific stands and impair the chemistry and biophysical properties of soil. The metabolites from Prosopis juliflora with allelopathic properties result from two major biosynthetic pathways: shikimic acid metabolites and piperidine alkaloids. Several Prosopis species have substantial impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and local and regional economies in their native terrain; others provide multiple benefits to local communities. Overall, P. juliflora has demonstrated to be a versatile raw material, widely applicable in the food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and renewable energy industries, providing progress in several fields of science and technology.


Prosopis juliflora Fabaceae Mesquite Alkaloids Shikimic acid 



G.A.B..D., A.L.S., and I.B.S. are recipient of fellowships from the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES), Brazil. The authors wish to thank Ministerio de Ciência, Tecnologia, Inovação e Comunicações – MCTIC and the INCT BioNat for the financial support. M.F. is CNPq fellowship honored researcher.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Azevedo de Brito Damasceno
    • 1
  • Augusto Lopes Souto
    • 1
  • Ivanice Bezerra da Silva
    • 1
  • Alan de Araújo Roque
    • 2
  • Márcio Ferrari
    • 1
  • Raquel Brandt Giordani
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Pharmacy Department, College of PharmacyFederal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN)NatalBrazil
  2. 2.Dunas Park HerbariumNatalBrazil

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