MadSci Network: Botany

Re: Any correlation between CO2 assim. path. & medicinal plants?

Date: Thu Jul 22 01:14:16 1999
Posted By: Eric Biddinger, Grad Student, Horticulture, Penn State University
Area of science: Botany
ID: 930779866.Bt


Good question!  I have never heard of any such association.  But most 
medicinal plants I can think of are dicots.  Dicots tend to use the C-3, 
not C-4, pathway.  Does this mean there is a correlation?  I'm not sure, 
but I kind of doubt it.  The carbon assimilation pathway can differ between 
plants in the same family.  The effect of different carbon assimilation 
pathways is primarly a change in the efficiency and not in the overall 
outcome of the pathway.

The medicinal chemicals produced by some plants are typically secondary 
products not directly involved in the primary metabolic functions.  

While it might be interesting to dig into this question a bit deeper, my 
initial reply is there is no correlation between carbon assimilation 
pathways and the production of medicinal substances.

I hope that helps!

Eric Biddinger
Graduate Student
Department of Horticulture
Penn State University

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