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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

FDA Poisonous Plant Database

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AUTHOR(S): Hoiland, K.
TITLE: Extracts of Cortinarius speciosissimus affecting the photosynthetic apparatus of Lemna minor.
YEAR: 1983 CITATION: Trans Br Mycol Soc, 81(3), 633-635 [English]
FDA #: F02124
ABSTRACT: Aqueous extracts of Cortinarius speciosissimus were shown to damage the photosynthetic pigments and the chloroplasts in Lemna minor L. in the same way as the herbicides diquat and paraquat. This indicates that orellanine, which is the main toxic compound in C. speciosissimus and also C. orellanus, may compete for the electrons generated by the photosynthetic systems. In turn the reduced 'orellanine radical' may produce H2O2 during reoxidizing. The latter substance can attack the membranes in the chloroplasts. Since diquat, paraquat, and the other substances with the described effect on green plants are of bipyridine structure, the present results support the idea of a bipyridine structure of orellanine.
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