Biological Activity of Seed Proteins in Malesian Legumes

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In a study of the effects on animals of seed protein extracts of 15 Malesian members of the Leguminosae (including 11 rain forest tree species), most of the taxa agglutinated red blood cells, induced mitosis, and inhibited amylases. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that these proteins interact with other organisms, most probably in defense mechanisms against predation by animals. The functions of these proteins are most profitably studied in rain forest environments where their activity is so marked, and where biological interactions are particularly important.

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