Plant Primary and Secondary Metabolites

Plants are amazing! Their main outputs (primary metabolites) are carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and oils, but they can also produce secondary compounds (secondary metabolites) that protect, repel, heal, communicate, and much more. There are millions of potential secondary metabolites, but only if the plant has adequate nutrition, including micro and trace elements.

Plant Primary Metabolites make up the bulk of the plant. Plants will first produce Carbohydrates and Proteins. Surplus energy is directed toward producing Fats and Oils.

 

 

Plant Secondary Metabolites (PSMs) are compounds that serve the plant and everything that consumes the parts of it. PSMs comprise the massive base of nutritional components, medicinal components, vitamins, antioxidants, growth regulators, stimulants, and the 450-500 or more phytoalexins that help run the plant's immune system. Without trace elements activating the plant's enzymes you are not going to produce these millions of PSMs.

PSMs are broken into four major groups: Alkaloids, Terpeniods, Phenolics, and Sulfated Amino Acids. Let's follow the Essential Oils line, which is only one of the four main Terpeniod groups. Essential Oils are broken down into two major groups, Hydrocarbons and Oxygenated Compounds. Let's follow the Hydrocarbon group into the various terpenes. The are more than 1000 known Monoterpenes, more than 7000 known Sesquiterpenes, more than 3000 Diterpenes, plus there are Sesterpenes, Triterpenes, Tetraterpenes, etc. So far, we have discovered more than 22,000 Terpeniods- each having somewhere between 200 to over 800 constituents in each terpeniod.  Do the math. On the low end you have close to 5,000,000 different constituents and potentially well over 17,600,000 different constituents. And we are still discovering new terpeniods. The potential within these plants is unbelievable, if we could learn how to harvest it all.

When a plant has the proper balance and availability of nutrients, it can produce secondary metabolites that will do the following:

  • Sunlight and UV protection
  • Stabilize photosynthetic membranes
  • Antibacterial/antifungal to prevent pathogenic infection
  • Attract pollinators
  • Attract or Repel grazers
  • Repel insects
  • Inhibit competitors
  • Increase temperature tolerance (hot and cold)
  • Attract seed disseminators
  • Warn nearby plants of enemies so they can take protective measures
  • Send signals via air, root, and soil

And those are just some of the internal functions performed by the secondary metabolites.Organic (non-chemical) practices tend to increase PSMs while pesticides and other poisons reduce PSM levels.

In addition to the internal functions, secondary metabolites also have beneficial uses for the animals and humans who consume the plants:

  • Antibacterial/antifungal/antiviral
  • Pain relief
  • Anti-cancer
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-pyretic (fever reducing)
  • Strengthen internal systems (nervous, immune, respiratory, circulatory)
  • Calming
  • Antioxidants

All of these incredible plant functions are weakened or eliminated without proper nutrition. Bio Minerals Technologies can help you build the proper nutritional program for your crops so they can produce all of these incredible compounds, providing better nutrition to animals and people alike. Call us at 435-753-2086 and we'll show you how!

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