primary and secondary metabolites

Difference between Primary and Secondary Metabolites

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Living beings need energy for their survival and to perform activities. Metabolism is the process which occurs in the organism to generate energy and produce waste materials. The plants use various substances for metabolic activities and the biochemical substances produced in plants are of two types, they are primary metabolites and secondary Metabolites. There are some differences between primary metabolites and secondary metabolites, they are as follows


The biochemical substances which are required for the normal growth and development are called primary metabolites. The biochemical substances which are required for growth and development of plants are called secondary metabolites.
The examples of primary metabolites are carbohydrates, fats, proteins. The examples of secondary metabolites are alkaloids, tannins, resins, gums, latex, etc.


Though plants produce these byproducts of primary and secondary metabolites for their own use, man found the usage of these chemicals for his own benefits. They are generally fragrant and colored. Natural alkaloids are byproducts of plants and are poisonous. But, they help man as herbal medicines in ayurveda treatment.

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