From Terpenes to Sterols: Macroevolution and Microevolution

  • Guy Ourisson
  • Michel Rohmer
  • Robert Anton
Part of the Recent Advances in Phytochemistry book series (RAPT, volume 13)


We shall address ourselves in this chapter to one central question of comparative biochemistry, with obvious phytochemical overtones: is it possible to discern the precise biochemical mechanisms by which biochemical evolution can take place? We will propose a rather detailed description of such pathways at two levels: on the one hand, we will discuss present evidence related to the macroevolutionary events leading to sterols; that is, related to the development from prebiotic systems of complex substances universally present in eukaryotic cells; on the other, at the lower level of microevolution, we will apply some of the hypotheses developed at the higher level to offer a detailed scheme for the infrageneric variability of sterol-like triterpenes in one special tissue: the latex of Euphorbiaceae.


Biochemical Evolution Glyceryl Ether Pentacyclic Triterpenes Desulfovibrio Desulfuricans Nitrosomonas Europaea 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guy Ourisson
    • 1
    • 2
  • Michel Rohmer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Robert Anton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut de ChimieUniversite Louis PasteurStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Matiere Medicale, Faculte de PharmacieUniversite Louis PasteurStrasbourgFrance

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