Glossary – phytochemistry (under construction)

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Acetogenins – polyketides derived from acetate with 35–37 carbon atoms in a single almost unbranched chan, substituted by 6-8 oxygen atoms

Acetophenones – aromatic ketones with the formula C6H5C(O)CH3; precursors to many resins

Acetylenes – ethyns

Acorine – a C20-diterpene alkaloid

Acridines – alkaloids (e.g. proflavine) structurally related to anthracene

Acteoside – see Verbascoside

Actinidin – a cysteine protease enzyme present in some fruits (e.g. kiwi, pineapple, mango, papaya and banana); part of the papain-like peptidase C1 family

Acylation – stabilization by the introduction of an acid radical from acids such as coumaric, ferulic, or caffeic acids into, e.g., acylated anthocyanins

Afzelechin – a flavan-3-ol

Afzelin – kaempferol rhamnosides (a group of glycosides)

Aglycone – aglucone; the non-carbohydrate group of a glycoside which appears on its hydrolysis

Alditol – a polyol with a linear chain of carbon atoms, an acyclic polyol

Alkaloids – organic, N-containing bases, usually with a heterocyclic ring of some kind, but with little in common other than the possession of N, usually somewhat basic, and divided into three main categories: (1) true alkaloids – N-containing heterocyclic compounds derived from an amino acid, e.g. benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, tropane alkaloids, quinolizidine alkaloids; (2) protoalkaloids – derived from amino acieds, but lacking a heterocyclic ring; and (3) pseudoalkaloids – derived from terpenes, sterols, aliphatic acids, nicotinic acid, or purines; simple alkaloids derived from the aromatic amino acid tryptophan are, e.g., bufotenine, β-carboline alkaloids (harmine, harmaline, harmalol), alkaloids of Physostigma venesosoum (physostigmine, geneserine, eseramine, N-8-norphysostigmine), and Calycanthus alkaloids (calycanthine, calycanthidine, folicanthine, chimonanthine); simple alkaloids derived from the aromatic amino acid anthranilic acid include, e.g., damascenine and pyrroloquinazoline alkaloids (vasicine, vasicinone, desoxyvasicinone); certain classes of alkaloids (i.a. ergoline and indolizidine/swainsonine alkaloids) are often synthesized by fungal or bacterial associates of the plant

Alkannin – a naphthoquinone derived from the p-hydroxybenzoic acid pathway

Alliin – a sulfoxide in garlic; alliin is a derivative of cysteine and is converted to allicin (the garlic aroma) by alliinase

Allitol – a carbohydrate product resulting from the reduction of the aldehyde functional group in D-allose

Amide – an N-containing compound formed by the reaction of an amine and a carboxylic group to form a –CONR2 group

Amine – amino acid with the carboxyl group removed

Amygdalin – a cyanogenic glucoside

Ancistrocline – a naphthyl-isoquinoline alkaloid found in Ancistrocladaceae

Angelic acid – a hemiterpenoid (C5H8), trans-2-methyl-2-butenoic acid, an unsaturated organic acid with an isoprene skeleton

Angular coumarin – a fumarocoumarin in which the furan ring is at an angle to the benz-2-pyrone nucleus, as in angelicin, usually not phototoxic

Anthocyanidins – polyhydroxyflavylium salts; a class of coloured anthocyanin aglycones (i.e. without sugars) formed from flavan-3,4-diols, also when proanthocyanidins are hydrolyzed with acid (in plants not formed from proanthocyanidins); a major determinant of flower colour; examples of anthocyanidins are pelargonidin, cyanidin, delphinidin, peonidin, malvidin, petunidin, and melacacidin

Anthocyanins – glycosides of anthocyanidins; a class of flavonoids based on the cyanidin structure, differing in the presence or absence of hydroxyl groups by methylation or glycosylation (they have sugars at position 3 and sometimes elsewhere), forming red, pink, purple or blue pigments; anthocyanins are one of the two main pigment types

Anthoxanthins – yellow, cream or colourless flavonoids occurring in cell saps; e.g. quercitin

Anthraquinones – quinones in which the aromatic ring is fused to both sides of a benzoquinone ring, present as glycosides in plants, often coloured

Apigenin – a deoxyanthocyanin present in leaves and flowers

Apiitol – (S)-2-(hydroxymethyl)-1,2,3,4-butanetetrol, (3S)-2-(hydroxymethyl)butane-1,2,3,4-tetrol

Apiose – a branched-chain sugar present as residues in galacturonan-type pectins

Aporphine alkaloids – group of isoquinoline alkaloids

Arabinogalactan – polymer consisting of arabinose and galactose; often present in gums (e.g. gum arabic and gum gutti)

Arabinose – (C5H9O4)-OH, an aldopentose epimeric with ribose at the 2 carbon, occurring naturally in both D- and L-forms, widely distributed in the form of complex polysaccharides, glycosides, and mucilages; arabinoside is a glycoside of arabinose and occurs widely in plant species as a component of sugars, also in gum arabic

Arabitol – the polyol form of arabinose (an alditol)

Arachidic acid – a saturated fatty acid present in, e.g., peanut oil

Arbutin – a benzoquinone

Aristolochic acids – a group of phenanthrene-carboxylic acid derivatives of benzoisoquinoline precursors

Arjunolic acid – 2,3,2,3-trihydroxyolean-12-en-28-oic acid, a triterpenoid

Arylphenalenones – phenalenones with aryl radicals, pigments found in Haemodoraceae, derived from 9-phenylphenalenone

Asarone – a toxic and carcinogenic ether occurring in alpha (trans-) and beta (cis-) forms

Asphodelin – a yellow coloured anthraquinone

Astragalin – 3-O-glucoside of kaempferol

Aucubin – a bitter-tasting route II decarboxylated iridoid

Aureol – a phytoalexin

Aurones – 2-benzalcoumaran-3-ones; golden-coloured heterocyclic flavonoids isomeric with e.g. flavones with Z-stereochemistry at the double bond, often found in flowers; they are anthochlors; an example is sulfuretin

Azetidine-2-carboxylic acid – C4H7NO2, a non-protein amino acid, an alpha-amino acid with a primary imino group (-NH) and a carboxyl group attached to the same carbon atom