J Syst Evol ›› 1979, Vol. 17 ›› Issue (4): 7-20.
• Research Articles •
The family Cephalotaxaceae contains so far known only 1 genus with 8 species and
possibly 2-3 varieties mostly native in China.
In recent years, some ester alkaloids of Cephalotaxus have been shown significant
activity in a variety of experimental leukemia systems. 6 species (including varieties)
of the genus have been investigated for their alkaloids.
The detected alkaloids in Cephalotaxaceous plants, from the chemotaxonomic point
of view, may be of some significance to the plant systemstics. Our present study has
(1) The species C. sinensis and C. fortunei (C. oliveri ?) are chemically considered
to be more primitive than others, while C. harringtonia, C. hainanensis and C. wilsoniana
(including C. mannii?) seem to be derived.
(2) Chemical evidence has suggested that the genus Cephalotaxus be accorded a
(3) On the basis of morphology, anatomy, embryogeny, geographical distribution
etc., the recent findings in the chemistry of Cephalotaxaceae support the inclusion of
Cephalotaxaceae, Taxaceae and Podocarpaceae in Taxineae of Coniferales.
(4) C. fortunei, C. hainanensis and C. oliveri (C. harringtonia) contain richer
ester alkaloids than other species of the genus. C. fortunei which has a wide distribution and great amount in many provinces of China, may prove to be a good new
resource for antitumor medicine.
Chu Tai-Ping. A study of the alkaloids in Cephalotaxus and their bearing on the chemotaxonomic problems of the genus. J Syst Evol, 1979, 17 (4): 7-20.
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