Glossary – phytochemistry (under construction)

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Macrolides – a group of narcotic polyketides, containing a macrolide ring, a macrocyclic lactone ring to which one or more deoxy sugars (e.g. cladinose and desosamine) may be attached

Macrozamin – cycad toxin with primoverose

Maesaquinone – a benzoquinone

Malic acid – a carboxylic acid

Malvidin – an O-methylated anthocyanidin

Mangiferin – a xanthone

Mangostin – a xanthone

Mannans – a group of cell wall storage polysaccharides in which mannose is the main sugar, forming a matrix that lacks cellulose and pectins in the same proportions as in the primary cell wall, divided into pure mannans, galactomannans and glucomannans

Mannitol – a hexitol formed by reduction of mannose or fructose, present in gum exudates

Mannose – a hexose sugar

Maytansine – a cytotoxic macrolide of ansamycin type

Maytansinoids – derivatives of maytansine

Mescaline – protoalkaloid, simple alkaloid derived from the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine; mescaline occurs in, e.g., Lophophora (Cactaceae)

Mesembrine – an alkaloid

Methyl azoxymethanol – toxic aglycone of cycasin and macrozamin

Methylflavones – derivatives of chalcones

Methyl glucosinolates – a class of aliphatic, straight-chain glucosinolates

Mevalonic acid – a carboxylic acid precursor of sterols, terpenes and other isoprenoids

Miltanthaline – a benzylisoquinoline alkaloid

Monellin – a sweet-tasting protein present in Dioscoreophyllum cumminsii

Monoterpene lactones – see Iridoids

Monoterpene indole alkaloids – indole alkaloids derived from monoterpenes and either from iridoid or non-iridoid precursors; examples include ajmalicine, serpentine, tetrahydroalstonine, tabersonine, stemmadenine, vindoline, voacangine, catharanthines, akuammicine, aspidospermine, ibogaine, loganin, secologanin, strictosidine, emetine, cephaeline, strychnine, and spermostrychnine

Monoterpenoids – with a base of C10H16; monoterpenoids occur in essential oils and are made up of one or two isoprene rings or an open chain of isoprene units; colourless, water-insoluble, volatile, with fragrant odour

Mustard oils – see Isothiocyanates

Myriceton – a common flavonol

Myriophyllin – a derivative of a proanthocyanidin

Myristic acid – a saturated C14 fatty acid, occurring in many fats

Myristicin – a phenylpropene present in the essential oil of nutmeg (Myristica) etc.

Myrosinase – the enzyme that breaks down glucosinolates, yielding distinctive isothiocyanates