Non-protein amino acids: plant, soil and ecosystem interactions
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- Vranova, V., Rejsek, K., Skene, K.R. et al. Plant Soil (2011) 342: 31. doi:10.1007/s11104-010-0673-y
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Non-protein amino acids are a significant store of organic nitrogen in many ecosystems, but there is a lack of knowledge relating to them. Research has indicated that they play important roles as metabolites, as allelopthic chemicals, in nutrient acquisition, in signalling and in stress response. They are also thought to be responsible for significant medical issues in both invertebrate and vertebrate animals. This review attempts to appraise the literature related to non-protein amino acids, both in terms of their metabolism, plant–soil interactions and at the level of the ecosystem, where they are seen as significant drivers of structure and function. Finally, important areas for future research are discussed.