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Secondary metabolites are defined as organic compounds that are not directly involved in the normal growth, development, and reproduction of an organism. They are widely believed to be responsible for interactions between the producing organism and its environment, with the producer avoiding their toxicities. In our experiments, however, none of the randomly selected 44 species representing different groups of plants and insects can avoid autotoxicity by its endogenous metabolites once made available. We coined the term endocides (endogenous biocides) to describe such metabolites that can poison or inhibit the parent via induced biosynthesis or external applications. Dosage-dependent endocides can selectively induce morphological mutations in the parent organism (e.g., shrubbiness/dwarfism, pleiocotyly, abnormal leaf morphogenesis, disturbed phyllotaxis, fasciated stems, and variegation in plants), inhibit its growth, development, and reproduction and cause death than non-closely related species. The propagule, as well as the organism itself contains or produces adequate endocides to kill itself.


Li, S., Wang, P., Yuan, W., Su, Z., & Bullard, S. H. (2016). Endocidal Regulation of Secondary Metabolites in the Producing Organisms. Scientific Reports, 6, 29315.




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