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Trends Plant Sci. 2005 Nov;10(11):542-9. Epub 2005 Oct 7.

Plant secondary metabolism glycosyltransferases: the emerging functional analysis.

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Institut de Biotechnologie des Plantes, CNRS-Université Paris-Sud, UMR8618, Bâtiment 630, 91405 Orsay Cedex, France.


Glycosylation is a widespread modification of plant secondary metabolites. It is involved in various functions, including the regulation of hormone homeostasis, the detoxification of xenobiotics and the biosynthesis and storage of secondary compounds. In plants, these reactions are controlled by a specific subclass of the ubiquitous glycosyltransferase family. Although these enzymes have been studied intensively for many years, to date only a handful have been characterized in planta. Plant genome projects have uncovered unsuspected complexity within this family that is hindering the characterization of single genes. However, genome information also paves the way for the development of functional genomic approaches. Here, we highlight recent progress and the outcomes of novel strategies developed to uncover the physiological roles of these glycosyltransferases.

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