Research Topic

The world inside and outside phenylpropanoids

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Plants produce a huge among of phenylpropanoid compounds. In many cases, these metabolites interact (or are conjugated) with other metabolites providing a huge range of properties to plants. Therefore, plants need coordinated biosynthesis between phenylpropanoids and these other metabolites. Phenylpropanoids ...

Plants produce a huge among of phenylpropanoid compounds. In many cases, these metabolites interact (or are conjugated) with other metabolites providing a huge range of properties to plants. Therefore, plants need coordinated biosynthesis between phenylpropanoids and these other metabolites. Phenylpropanoids are synthesized through a very branched and versatile metabolic pathway leading to a vast panoply of metabolites involved in many plant biological requirements. Furthermore, different plant families have evolved or potentiated different branches of these compounds. Through this versatility, different kind of phenylpropanoids can play similar functions in different plant species. For instance, flavonoids are ubiquitous in plants and play, among others, a UV-protectant function. However, in Brassicaceae, this function is essentially provided by another kind of phenylpropanoids, i.e. the sinapate esters. Another example is tricin, an isoflavone, potentied in grasses as one of the subunits of the lignin polymer.

Phenylpropanoids usually interact with other non-phenylpropanoid metabolites. This is clearly the case of lignin and suberin polymers that interact with polysaccharides and fatty acids, respectively. Therefore, there is a need for a coordinated biosynthesis between phenylpropanoids and carbohydrates and/or fatty acids. Such a kind of coordination between the production of phenylpropanoids and that of carbohydrates is essential to generate a fully functional cell wall. Similarly, coordination between the biosynthesis of soluble phenylpropanoids and that of other metabolites such as isoprenoids, for instance, is needed to generate functional conjugated metabolites.

This Research Topic intends to deepen our knowledge of the phenylpropanoids biosynthesis and more particularly of how is orchestrated the coordinated biosynthesis of other metabolites coming from diverse metabolic pathways both in developmental processes and in response to environmental cues. Thus information about different levels of coordination, from gene expression to fine-tune regulation of biosynthesis and assembly, are welcome.


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