Printer Friendly

Nutty and fungi-ble taxol sources.

Scouting for chemical clues to the puzzle of why eastern filbert blight hits some hazelnut cultivars harder than others, Angela M. Hoffman and her colleagues at the University of Portland in Oregon made a startling discovery. The most resistant trees are making paclitaxel, the active ingredient in the anticancer drug taxol. The trees also produce a host of related taxanes that chemists can convert into the pharmaceutical.

Pacific yew had been the only source of paclitaxel, a costly drug ingredient that's in high demand. Hoffman's team has found taxanes in all parts of the blight-resistant hazelnut trees, but concentrations are only one-tenth as high as in the yew trees. However, the hazelnut taxanes represent a double whammy. Inside tissues of the apparently healthy trees, Hoffman discovered independent producers of paclitaxel--various unidentified fungi. Her group is now investigating what role, if any, the taxanes play in protecting hazelnuts from disease.
COPYRIGHT 2000 Science Service, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2000, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:hazelnut trees are new source of paclitaxel
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 15, 2000
Previous Article:Unsung benefits of darker, tasty oils.
Next Article:Music without Borders.

Related Articles
The tree that fights cancer.
Beyond yew: chemists boost taxol yield.
Looting the medicine chest: how Bristol-Myers Squibb made off with the public's cancer research.
Taxol-making fungus found.
A photo finish for total taxol synthesis.
Going Nuts over Paclitaxel.
Fearsome fungus found in 2 orchards.
Thought useless, Canada yew can fight cancer.
Fungus produces cancer drug.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2019 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters