Myrosinase: gene family evolution and herbivore defense in Brassicaceae
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Glucosinolates are a category of secondary products present primarily in species of the order Capparales. When tissue is damaged, for example by herbivory, glucosinolates are degraded in a reaction catalyzed by thioglucosidases, denoted myrosinases, also present in these species. Thereby, toxic compounds such as nitriles, isothiocyanates, epithionitriles and thiocyanates are released. The glucosinolate-myrosinase system is generally believed to be part of the plant's defense against insects, and possibly also against pathogens. In this review, the evolution of the system and its impact on the interaction between plants and insects are discussed. Further, data suggesting additional functions in the defense against pathogens and in sulfur metabolism are reviewed.
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