Function of Alkaloids in Plants

1.4 Function of Alkaloids in Plants

A good number of logical explanations, theories and principles have been put forward with regard to the possible function of alkaloids in plants or the probable reasons why they are present in them. It would be worthwhile to have a closer look and perhaps a better insight about certain possibilities that have gained cognizance over the years are described below along with their functions, namely:
(a) As strategically located poisonous agents in plants thereby protecting them either against herbivorous animals or insects,
(b) As probable by-products of various detoxification reactions representing a metabolic lockingup of compounds, otherwise harmful or detrimental to the plant,
(c) As pronounced regulatory growth factors, and
(d) As reserve substances in plant capable of supplying nitrogen or other necessary elements to its economy.

Source:Pharmacognosy And Pharmacobiotechnology By Ashutosh Kar

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