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Plant Biol (Stuttg). 2005 Nov;7(6):581-91.

Significance of flavonoids in plant resistance and enhancement of their biosynthesis.

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Unit of Fruit Science, Center of Life Sciences Weihenstephan, Technical University of Munich, Alte Akademie 16, 85350 Freising, Germany.


The roles of flavonoids in plant defence against pathogens, herbivores, and environmental stress are reviewed and their significant contribution to plant resistance is discussed. The induction of flavonoids is of particular interest for gathering evidence of their roles. Tools are mentioned which may enhance flavonoid biosynthesis and accumulation. These include metabolic engineering and UV light. The induction of defence-related flavonoids is modified by other determining factors and competition between growth and secondary metabolism may exist. In an evolutionary context, stress-related oxidative pressure may have been a major trigger for the distribution and abundance of flavonoids. UV protection is one of their most significant, or even the most significant, functional role for flavonoids. The multi-functionality of these compounds, however, often complicates the interpretation of experimental results but, overall, it supports the importance of flavonoids.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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