Toxic Plants – Phytotoxin (TPPT) Database

The TPPT database is a multi-purpose, freely available database providing information on 844 poisonous plants and 1586 of their phytotoxins in Switzerland and Central Europe. We combined biological information on the plants, their spatial distribution, and their human and animal toxicities, together with chemical information including identification information, molecular structure, as well as in-silico predicted physicochemical properties, and human and aquatic toxicities. The included information facilitates phytotoxin risk assessments or environmental monitoring programs. 


Phytotoxins are toxic plant secondary metabolites with widely varying molecular structures and possibly high concentrations in vegetation produced as defense compounds against herbivores, insects, or other plant species. We focus on the environmental behavior of phytotoxins since environmental exposure and effect studies have only been conducted for a very limited number of phytotoxins, and systematic and larger monitoring campaigns are completely lacking. To this end, information is compiled from different disciplines into one database: the Toxic Plants – Phytotoxin (TPPT) Database. 

The TPPT Database

Figure 1: TPPT database set-up and content

Fig. 1 illustrates the TPPT database structure and content. Besides the information to the phytotoxins, plant species, and the relationships between the two, several additional phytotoxin characterizations are included. Regarding the physicochemical properties, EPI Suite and ACD/Labs predictions were used, and for the toxicity evaluation, we included, as far as available, experimental data, ProTox acute rodent toxicity predictions, and ECOSAR aquatic toxicity predictions. 

The TPPT database is available for download in two different formats: the version in SQLite offers various functions, whereas the excel version is simpler in use, but not all possibilities are available. For the use of the SQLite version consider, alternatively the SQLite database can be accessed through R (packages DBI and RSQLite). 

The TPPT database is described in full details in: 

Günthardt, B.F., Hollender, J., Hungerbühler, K., Scheringer, M., Bucheli, T.D.* 2018: Comprehensive Toxic Plants–Phytotoxins Database and Its Application in Assessing Aquatic Micropollution Potential. J. Agric. Food Chem. doi/10.1021/acs.jafc.8b01639

Available at:



Further Information


Phytotoxins: aquatic micropollutants of concern?

The appearance of phytotoxins in the aquatic environment is evaluated through modelling and monitoring to identify the importance of these natural toxins as environmental micropollutants.