, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 127-142
Date: 20 Mar 2006

Histidine biosynthesis in plants

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The study of histidine metabolism has never been at the forefront of interest in plant systems despite the significant role that the analysis of this pathway has played in development of the field of molecular genetics in microbes. With the advent of methods to analyze plant gene function by complementation of microbial auxotrophic mutants and the complete analysis of plant genome sequences, strides have been made in deciphering the histidine pathway in plants. The studies point to a complex evolutionary origin of genes for histidine biosynthesis. Gene regulation studies have indicated novel regulatory networks involving histidine. In addition, physiological studies have indicated novel functions for histidine in plants as chelators and transporters of metal ions. Recent investigations have revealed intriguing connections of histidine in plant reproduction. The exciting new information suggests that the study of plant histidine biosynthesis has finally begun to flower.