Solanum, the nightshades, horsenettles and relatives, is a large and diverse genus of annual and perennial plants. They grow as forbs, vines, sub-shrubs, shrubs, and small trees, and often have attractive fruit and flowers. Many formerly independent genera like Lycopersicon (the tomatoes) or Cyphomandra are included in Solanum as subgenera or sections today. Thus, the genus nowadays contains roughly 1,500-2,000 species.
In particular the green parts (including unripe fruit) are often poisonous to humans, though not necessarily to other animals. But many bear edible fruits, leaves, or tubers. Several species are cultivated, including three globally important food crops:
Other species are significant food crops regionally, such as Ethiopian Eggplant and gilo (S. aethiopicum), naranjilla or lulo (S. quitoense), Turkey Berry (S. torvum), or the "bush tomatoes" (several Australian species).
While most medical relevance of Solanum is due to poisonings which are not uncommon and may be fatal, several species are locally used in folk medicine, particularly by native peoples who have employed them since long and know how to avoid poisonings. Giant Devil's-fig (S. chrysotrichum) has been shown to be an effective treatment for seborrhoeic dermatitis in a scientific study.
The following list is a provisional lineup of the genus' traditional subdivisions, together with some notable species. Many of the subgenera and sections might not be valid; they are used here provisionally as the phylogeny of this genus is not fully resolved yet and many species have not been reevaluated.
Cladistic analyses of DNA sequence data suggests that the present subdivisions and rankings are largely invalid. Far more subgenera would seem to warrant recognition, with Leptostemonum being the only one that can at present be clearly subdivided into sections. Notably, it includes as a major lineage several members of the traditional sections Cyphomandropsis and the old genus Cyphomandra.
Response of proline, soluble sugars, photosynthetic pigments and antioxidant enzymes in potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) to different irrigation regimes in greenhouse condition
Jan 01, 2011; Abstract To evaluate the response of proline and soluble sugars content, chlorophyll a (CHLa), chlorophyll b (CHLb), total...