Abrus precatorius

Abrus precatorius

name = Jequirity

image_width = 250px
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Fabales
familia = Fabaceae
subfamilia = Faboideae
tribus = Abreae
genus = "Abrus"
species = "A. precatorius"
binomial = "Abrus precatorius"
binomial_authority = L.

"Abrus precatorius", known commonly as Jequirity, Crab's Eye, Rosary Pea, John Crow Bead, Precatory bean, Indian Licorice or Saga Tree ("Abrus precatorius"), is a legume with long, pinnate-leafleted leaves. It is also known as "Gunja" in Sanskrit and some Indian languages. Their seeds are often used as beads and in percussion instruments. The seed contains a toxic poison Abrin that is only harmful when swallowed if the seeds are broken, as they have a hard seed coat. The plant is native to Indonesia and grows in tropical and subtropical areas of the world where it has been introduced. It has a tendency to become weedy and invasive where it has been introduced.


The toxin present in "Abrus precatorius" is a close relative to ricin called abrin. It is a dimer consisting of two protein subunits, termed A and B. The B chain facilitates abrin's entry into a cell by bonding to certain transport proteins on cell membranes, which then transport the toxin into the cell. Once inside the cell, the A chain prevents protein synthesis by inactivating the 26S subunit of the ribosome. One molecule of abrin will inactivate up to 1,500 ribosomes per second. Symptoms are identical to those of ricin, except that the fatal dose of ricin is approximately 75 times greater than the fatal dose of abrin. Abrin can kill with a circulating amount of less than 3 μg (micrograms).


The seeds of "Abrus precatorius" are much valued in native jewelry for their bright coloration. The third of the bean with the hilum (attachment scar) is black, and the rest is bright red, suggesting a ladybug. Jewelry-making with jequirity seeds is dangerous, and there have been cases of death by a finger-prick while boring the seeds for beadwork. However, it has long been a symbol of love in China.


*List of plants of Caatinga vegetation of Brazil
* [http://www.weberseeds.de/species/abrus_precatorius.htm Abrus precatorius seed (extremeclose-up)]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Abrus Precatorius — Pois rouge …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abrus precatorius — Pois rouge …   Wikipédia en Français

  • ABRUS PRECATORIUS L — ABRUS PRECATORIUS L., четочник, сем. мотыльковых (Papilionaceae), родом из Бразилии, но теперь встречается и в Индии и на Зондских островах. В медицине употребляются семена растения Semen Jequi riti s. Abri precatorii, из к рых выделено… …   Большая медицинская энциклопедия

  • Abrus precatorius —   Regaliz americano Abrus precato …   Wikipedia Español

  • Abrus precatorius — Pois rouge Abrus precatorius …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Abrus precatorius — Paternostererbse Paternostererbse (Abrus precatorius), Illustration Systematik Unterklasse: Rosenähnliche (Rosidae) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abrus precatorius — vaistinis abras statusas T sritis vardynas apibrėžtis Pupinių šeimos vaistinis nuodingas augalas (Abrus precatorius), paplitęs atogrąžose, naudojamas papuošalams gaminti. atitikmenys: lot. Abrus precatorius angl. coral beadplant; crab s eye;… …   Lithuanian dictionary (lietuvių žodynas)

  • Abrus precatorius — Jequirity Je*quir i*ty, n., or Jequirity bean Je*quir i*ty bean [Prob. fr. a native name.] (Bot.) The seed of the wild licorice ({Abrus precatorius}) used by the people of India for beads in rosaries and necklaces, as a standard weight, etc.;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abrus precatorius — Licorice Lic o*rice (l[i^]k [ o]*r[i^]s), n. [OE. licoris, through old French, fr. L. liquiritia, corrupted fr. glycyrrhiza, Gr. glyky rriza; glyky s sweet + ri za root. Cf. {Glycerin}, {Glycyrrhiza}, {Wort}.] [Written also {liquorice}.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Abrus precatorius — Vetch Vetch, n. [Also fitch; OE. ficche, feche, for veche, OF. veche, vecce, vesche, vesce, F. vesce, fr. L. vicia.] (Bot.) Any leguminous plant of the genus {Vicia}, some species of which are valuable for fodder. The common species is {Vicia… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”