Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Can There Be Nicotine In Tobacco Plants

Tobacco plants
produce nicotine naturally.

Nicotine is found naturally in the tobacco plants Nicotiana tabacum and Nicotiana rustica, primarily in the leaves and stems. Nicotine is an alkaloid, a type of organic compound. It is chemically related to cocaine and morphine.


The nicotine in tobacco plants protects them against insects that might otherwise eat them. Nicotine has a bitter taste and is poisonous to many insects.


On a chemical level, nicotine attaches to receptors in nerves. It causes the nerves to fire more often. Insects, being both smaller than humans and more sensitive to nicotine, have a stronger reaction. For insects, the rapid firing of nerve cells can be instantly lethal.

Amount and Location

A tobacco plant contains approximately 0.5 to 8 percent nicotine. Nicotine is synthesized in the roots and transported up to the leaves, where it is stored.

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