Biochemistry of Plant Coumarins

  • Stewart A. Brown
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 20)


Among natural products deriving at least in part from the shikimate pathway, the coumarins are certainly among the most numerous and are probably the most varied in structure. With over 800 known in the early 1980s1 and numerous new ones being identified each year, mostly from plants, the total is now closing in on a thousand. An indication of the structural variety is given by the compounds depicted in Figure 1, which is by no means exhaustive. The central feature of coumarins is the 2H-benzopyran-2-one nucleus which, unsubstituted, is the compound known simply as coumarin (1, Fig. 1).


Ferulic Acid Cinnamic Acid Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase Ruta Graveolens Impatiens Balsamina 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stewart A. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryTrent UniversityPeterboroughCanada

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