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Int Rev Cytol. 2000;198:319-46.

Role of natural benzoxazinones in the survival strategy of plants.

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  • 1Institute of Organic Chemistry, University of Leipzig, Germany.


Benzoxazinoid acetal glucosides are a unique class of natural products abundant in Gramineae, including the major agricultural crops maize, wheat, and rye. These secondary metabolites are also found in several dicotyledonous species. Benzoxazinoids serve as important factors of host plant resistance against microbial diseases and insects and as allelochemicals and endogenous ligands. Interdisciplinary investigations by biologists, biochemists, and chemists are stimulated by the intention to make agricultural use of the benzoxazinones as natural pesticides. These natural products are not only constituents of a plant defense system but also part of an active allelochemical system used in the competition with other plants. This review covers biological and chemical aspects of benzoxazinone research over the last decade with special emphasis on recent advances in the elucidation of the biosynthetic pathway.

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