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Figure 3. Spontaneous bioluminescence in Gonyaulax polyedra during darkness (DD). From top to bottom, control; middle, paraquat treatment that markedly suppresses to glow peak; bottom, combination of paraquat and melatonin showing that melatonin restored the glow peak. Source: Reprinted with permission from Ref. 31.

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Russel J. Reiter Seok Joong Kim

The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio, Texas

PHYTOCHEMICALS: VACCINIUM

The genus Vaccinium belongs to the health family, and members include the blueberries (bilberries), cranberries, and whortleberries. Total world production is estimated to about 1 million tons per year. These widespread, small fruits are found nearly everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

Knowledge of the chemical composition of the plant part of Vaccinium spp. is relevant because some phytochemicals (from the Greek phyton, plant) have biological activity, and berries are used as food and as medicine.

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