Recent advances in science have clarified the role of plant specialized metabolites (classically known as plant secondary metabolites), which cannot be considered only bioactive molecules used for human health but also pivotal factors for the global ecosystem. They play major roles in plant life, evolution, and mutualism. To provide the reader a general view of plant specialized metabolites, it is important to consider both the biochemistry and the functional/ecological role of these important compounds.
Around 200,000 specialized metabolites are formed by a wide array of plant metabolic pathways from numerous plant taxa and through learning how other species (including human beings) rely on them. Plant Specialized Metabolism: Genomics, Biochemistry, and Biological Functions will provide the reader with special insights into the sophisticated nature of these metabolites and their various and valuable uses based on the most recent findings in science.
The field of plant specialized metabolism has witnessed tremendous growth in the past decade. This growth has had a profound impact on multiple disciplines in life science, including biochemistry, metabolism, enzymology, natural product chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical ecology, and evolution. It also has yielded valuable knowledge and technology readily applicable in various industries, such as agriculture, horticulture, energy, renewable chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. The book focuses on the molecular background of secondary metabolite biosynthesis, their functional role, and potential applications.
Table of Contents
Introduction to plant specialized metabolism
Gen-ichiro Arimura and Massimo E. Maffei
Site of synthesis of specialized metabolites
Massimo E. Maffei
Biodiversity and chemotaxonomic significance of specialized metabolites
Francesca Barbero and Massimo E. Maffei
Biosynthesis and roles of Salicaceae salicylates
Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto and Virpi Virjamo
Alkaloid biosynthesis and regulation in plants
Virpi Virjamo and Riitta Julkunen-Tiitto
Biosynthesis, regulation, and significance of cyanogenic glucosides
Lasse Janniche Nielsen, Nanna Bjarnholt, Cecilia Blomstedt, Roslyn M. Gleadow, and Birger Lindberg Møller
Glucosinolate biosynthesis and functional roles
Biosynthesis and regulation of plant volatiles and their functional roles in ecosystem interactions and global environmental changes
Gen-ichiro Arimura, Kenji Matsui, Takao Koeduka, and Jarmo K. Holopainen
Microbial volatiles and their biotechnological applications
Birgit Piechulla and Marie Chantal Lemfack
Volatile glycosylation—A story of glycosyltransferase for volatiles: Glycosylation determining the boundary of volatile and nonvolatile specialized metabolites
Eiichiro Ono and Toshiyuki Ohnishi
Plant secondary metabolites as an information channel mediating community-wide interactions
André Kessler and Kaori Shiojiri
Metabolic engineering and synthetic biology of plant secondary metabolism
Dae-Kyun Ro, Yang Qu, and Moonhyuk Kwon
Gen-ichiro Arimura, PhD, received a PhD in science from Hiroshima University (Japan). He began his career in 1998 at Kyoto University, working in the field of molecular ecology of plant communications mediated by herbivore-induced plant volatiles. Sponsored by a fellowship from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), he spent 2 years (2002–2004) at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, working on terpene biosynthesis. Beginning in 2004, Dr. Arimura pursued his interest in the biosynthesis and regulation of plant terpene biosynthesis at Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany. He has worked mainly on molecular and chemical ecology of plant and arthropod mutualisms since joining the faculties at Kyoto University (2008–2013) and Tokyo University of Science (from 2013 to present). Dr. Arimura is one of the editorial board members of Scientific Reports and Applied Entomology and Zoology.
Massimo E. Maffei, PhD, received a PhD in plant biology from the University of Turin (Italy) in 1981. In 1984, he became a research associate for the Istituto di Botanica Speciale Veterinaria (University of Turin); from 1989 to 1992 he was an assistant professor; from 1992 to September 2000 he was an associate professor of plant morphology and physiology; and since October 2000, he has been a professor of plant physiology in the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Turin. He is the coordinator of the PhD School in Pharmaceutical and Biomolecular Sciences. He was also the director of the Department of Plant Biology and vice dean of Faculty of Sciences from 2000 to 2006. From October 2003 to December 2006, Dr. Maffei was the coordinator of the Centre of Excellence for Plant and Microbial Biosensing (CEBIOVEM). From July 2012 to February 2014, he was vice director for research in the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology. From 1987 to 1988, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Institute of Biological Chemistry at the Washington State University under the guidance of Professor Rodney Croteau. From 1990 to 1993, he was a visiting professor for the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Chania, Greece (MAICH–CHIEAM), teaching secondary metabolism of Mediterranean medicinal and aromatic plants.
Dr. Maffei is a member of the Academy of Agriculture and of the Academy of Sciences of the University of Turin. He is also a member of a number of international and national scientific associations; a member of the editorial board of the international publication, the Journal of Essential Oil Research; and is a reviewer for several other journals. He is the editor in chief of the Open Access JCR Journal of Plant Interactions (published by Taylor & Francis). Dr. Maffei’s research is dedicated to the study of secondary plant metabolites, with a particular reference to terpenoids, wax constituents, and phenolic compounds, as well as primary/secondary metabolic interactions. Recently, electrophysiological, transmission electron microscopical, and laser confocal scanning microscopical methods have been used to detect the involvement of cytological, membrane-related, and nuclear factors in the transduction of signals arising from plant–plant, plant–herbivore, and plant–pathogen interactions.