Integrating Transcriptional and Metabolic Profiling to Unravel Secondary Metabolite Biosynthesis in Plants

  • Heiko Rischer
  • Matej Oresic
  • Alain Goossens
  • Dirk Inzé
  • Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey

Plants exhibit an overwhelming metabolic capacity and the quest to discover all secondary metabolites has barely begun. Only a fraction of the 500,000 plant species estimated to exist has been formally described and only about 10% of those have been chemically investigated to some extent. In the recent years many biological functions of secondary metabolites have been revealed. The historical term ‘secondary metabolites’ implied that these were inessential compounds as compared to essential i.e., ‘primary metabolites’ involved in the basic processes in the cell. Now we know that secondary metabolites have for example many stress related functions, act as pollinator attractants or defence compounds etc. Nevertheless for most of them their biological function is not yet understood.

Keywords

Paclitaxel Alkaloid Indole Vincristine Terpenoid 

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Copyright information

© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heiko Rischer
    • 1
  • Matej Oresic
    • 1
  • Alain Goossens
    • 2
  • Dirk Inzé
    • 2
  • Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey
    • 1
  1. 1.VTT Technical Research Centre of FinlandFinland
  2. 2.Department of Plant Systems BiologyVIB-Ghent UniversityBelgium

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