Plant Food Toxins

Plant Toxins in an Evolutionary Context

Plant Toxins Lecture

Over the past several decades, tremendous strides have been made in studying plant toxins which are used as defence chemicals. These defences include digestibility reducers, semiochemicals, hormone mimics, photosensitisers, cyanogenic compounds, and other toxins that interfere with herbivore structure or metabolism.

A great deal is known about their effects on various animals, from insects to mammals. The toxic or otherwise damaging compounds in plants eaten by humans (e.g., gluten, hormone mimics, some lectins, photosensitisers, saponins, etc.) will be examined in the broader context of a widespread and evolutionarily old arms race between plants and animals.

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