Podophyllum peltatum plant

Podophyllum peltatum plant

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Emerging shoot of Podophyllum peltatum, the May Apple, a native of the Eastern United States, family Podophyllaceae. Podophyllum species are the source of podophyllotoxin, a cytotoxic substance extracted from the rhizomes ( roots ) which arrests cell division at metaphase. The extract is used as a topical treatment to remove Human Papilloma Virus induced genital warts, under the name Podocon-25 in the USA. The extract has teratogenic activity and its use by pregnant women is not recommended. The picture shows a plant growing in Norfolk UK in March. P. peltatum is a spreading rhizomatous perennial suitable for shady situations.

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Keywords: cell division, cytotoxic, genital warts, human papilloma virus, may apple, podophyllotoxin, podophyllum peltatum, rhizome, teratogenic

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