Biogenesis of Nicotine

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Science  29 May 1959:
Vol. 129, Issue 3361, pp. 1485-1486
DOI: 10.1126/science.129.3361.1485


Radioactive nicotine was synthesized by Nicotiana rustica L. which was fed sodium acetate-1-C14, sodium acetate-2-C14, sodium pyruvate-1-C14, or sodium pyruvate-3-C14. Acetate-2-C14 and pyruvate-3-C14 were converted to nicotine with the least dilution of radioisotope, whereas pyruvate-1-C14 was incorporated with a relatively large dilution. When acetate-1-C14 was administered to the plants the nicotine contained C14 only in the pyrrolidine ring. After acetate-2-C14 was fed, C14 was located in both the pyrrolidine and pyridine rings.