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Phytochemistry. 2005 Sep;66(18):2127-44.

Proanthocyanidin biosynthesis--still more questions than answers?

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Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, 2510 Sam Noble Parkway, Ardmore, OK 73401, USA.


Proanthocyanidins, also known as condensed tannins, are oligomers or polymers of flavan-3-ol units. In spite of important breakthroughs in our understanding of the biosynthesis of the major building blocks of proanthocyanidins, (+)-catechin and (-)-epicatechin, important questions still remain to be answered as to the exact nature of the molecular species that undergo polymerization, and the mechanisms of assembly. We review the structures of proanthocyanidins reported over the past 12 years in the context of biosynthesis, and summarize the outstanding questions concerning synthesis of proanthocyanidins from the chemical, biochemical and molecular genetic perspectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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