Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 877–893 | Cite as

Saponins and their role in biological processes in plants



Saponins are steroid and triterpenoid glycosides that display diverse biological activities. The wide-spread occurrence in plants as well as the potential for pharmaceutical application has led to saponin extraction and identification in numerous species. Although these efforts are important to extend our knowledge of naturally occurring saponin structures, recent attention has been given to the biosynthesis and distribution in plants. In this review, we present recent advances on saponin production and distribution and highlight studies showing effects on the growth and development.


Plant defense Plant development Saponin biosynthesis Steroidal saponin Triterpenoid saponin 



The authors would like to thank the BOF (special research fund No. 01WI0111, Ghent University) for A.F. Ph.D. fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Production, Faculty of Bioscience EngineeringGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Plant Science and Biotechnology Research Group, School of Life Sciences and TechnologyInstitut Teknologi BandungBandungIndonesia

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