Sign. 1. In botany, a chemical compound not essential to the structural or nutritional needs of a plant, but required for its ability to communicate. 2. A compound less involved in the matter or energy of, e.g., an aromatic, spice, or medicinal plant, than in the information it transmits to other plants and animals.

Usage: Conceptually, secondary products may be used as models for the evolution of the messaging features found in diverse consumer product designs. Secondary plant products demonstrate the largely separate evolutionary paths taken by information, matter, and energy (see NONVERBAL INDEPENDENCE).

Evolution. Many of the estimated hundreds of thousands of secondary plant products (e.g., alkaloids such as nicotine; cyanogenic compounds; flavonoids; insect anti-juvenile hormones; rare amino acids; rubberlike polymers; and terpenoids) evolved for purposes of defense against insects and other plant pests.


Copyright © 1998 - 2001 (David B. Givens/Center for Nonverbal Studies)

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