Plant and Soil

, Volume 342, Issue 1–2, pp 31–48 | Cite as

Non-protein amino acids: plant, soil and ecosystem interactions

  • Valerie Vranova
  • Klement Rejsek
  • Keith R. Skene
  • Pavel Formanek
Review Article


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.


Plant Non-protein amino acids Metabolism Role Soil Ecosystem 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Valerie Vranova
    • 1
  • Klement Rejsek
    • 1
  • Keith R. Skene
    • 2
    • 3
  • Pavel Formanek
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology and Soil ScienceMendel University in BrnoBrnoCzech Republic
  2. 2.College of Life SciencesUniversity of DundeeDundeeScotland
  3. 3.Biosphere Research InstituteAngusScotland

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