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Trends Plant Sci. 2002 Aug;7(8):366-73.

Strategies for transgenic manipulation of monoterpene biosynthesis in plants.

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Institute of Biological Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA.


Monoterpenes, the C(10) isoprenoids, are a large family of natural products that are best known as constituents of the essential oils and defensive oleoresins of aromatic plants. In addition to ecological roles in pollinator attraction, allelopathy and plant defense, monoterpenes are used extensively in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The importance of these plant products has prompted the definition of many monoterpene biosynthetic pathways, the cloning of the relevant genes and the development of genetic transformation techniques for agronomically significant monoterpene-producing plants. Metabolic engineering of monoterpene biosynthesis in the model plant peppermint has resulted in yield increase and compositional improvement of the essential oil, and also provided strategies for manipulating flavor and fragrance production, and plant defense.

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