Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 91–103 | Cite as

Glucosinolates – biochemistry, genetics and biological activity

  • Richard Mithen


This paper provides a brief overview of the biochemistry, genetics andbiological activity of glucosinolates and their degradation products.These compounds are found in vegetative and reproductive tissues of16 plant families, but are most well known as the major secondarymetabolites in the Brassicaceae. Following tissue disruption, theyare hydrolysed to a variety of products of which isothiocyanates(`mustard oils') are the most prominent. The majority of geneticstudies have concentrated on reducing the levels of these compoundsin the seeds of oilseed Brassica crops due to antinutritionalfactors associated with 2-hydroxy-3-butenyl glucosinolate. However,current interest is concerned with the anticarcinogenic activity ofisothiocyanates derived from cruciferous vegetables and salad crops.

glucosinolates Brassicaceae biosynthesis biochemistry genetics 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Mithen
    • 1
  1. 1.John Innes CentreNorwich

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