"They have been found in 44 plant families, but no essential metabolic function has been established for them. They are precursors of benzo[c]phenanthridine alkaloids , which are the active principal ingredients of many medicinal plant extracts. CAs have been implicated to have a possible protective role against insect predators, injuries, and nitrogen detoxification. They have been shown to promote plant tissue growth, somatic embryogenesis from in vitro cultures, and flowering. CAs inhibit indole-3-acetic acid oxidation and enhance ethylene biosynthesis. They have also been shown to enhance synergistically various effects of gibberellins ." 
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2013, on page A 1 of the New York edition with the headline: The Soaring Cost of a Simple Breath. Get Free Email Alerts on These Topics Asthma Drugs (Pharmaceuticals) Prices (Fares, Fees and Rates) Series Inside Health » Too Hot to Handle Arts » The Harmony of Liberty Opinion » Should Beach Privatization Be Allowed? Room for Debate asks whether shorefront homeowners should have to open their land to all comers.