meadow saffron

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (1) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

colchicine An alkaloid drug that is obtained from meadow saffron (see COLCHICUM). It has a disruptive effect on microtubular activity (see MICROTUBULE), though not on that of microfilaments. Thus, it affects tissue metabolism generally and mitosis in particular. It can be used to induce polyploidy in plants, because it prevents the development of the spindle and so blocks the separation of chromosomes during mitosis.

views updated

colchicine An alkaloid derived from the autumn crocus, Colchicum autumnale. It inhibits spindle formation in cells during mitosis so that chromosomes cannot separate during anaphase, thus inducing multiple sets of chromosomes (see polyploid). Colchicine is used in genetics, cytology, and plant breeding research and also in cancer therapy to inhibit cell division.

views updated

col·chi·cum / ˈkälchikəm; ˈkälki-/ • n. (pl. colchicums) a plant of the genus Colchicum, which includes the autumn crocuses. ∎  the dried corm or seed of meadow saffron, which has analgesic properties and is used medicinally.

views updated

colchicum Genus of c.30 species of flowering plants, including C. autumnale. Species grow throughout Eurasia, and have pink, white, or purple crocus-like flowers in bloom during the autumn. The corm contains colchicine, an alkaloid used to treat rheumatism and gout. Colchicine's ability to inhibit mitosis make it a valuable immunosuppressive drug and aid to cancer research. Family Liliaceae.

views updated

Colchicum (family Liliaceae) A genus of 65 species of herbs with underground corms, occurring from the Mediterranean region to central Asia and India. C. autumnale (meadow saffron, autumn crocus) is the source of the drug colchicine.

views updated

colchicine An alkaloid isolated from the meadow saffron, or autumn crocus (Colchicum spp.). It is an old remedy for gout. It inhibits cell division, and is used in experimental horticulture to produce plants with abnormal numbers of chromosomes.

views updated

colchicine (kol-chi-seen) n. a drug obtained from the meadow saffron (Colchicum autumnale), administered by mouth to relieve pain in attacks of gout and to prevent attacks of polyserositis.

views updated

colchicum genus of plants. XVI. — L. — Gr. kolkhikon, sb. use of n. of Kolkhikós pert. to Colchis, ancient name of a region east of the Black Sea.

views updated

meadow saffron See COLCHICUM.

views updated

colchicine See colchicum

More From Encyclopedia.com


You Might Also Like