Bioactive compounds - Cyanogenic glucosides – University of Copenhagen

Forward this page to a friend Resize Print Bookmark and Share

Plant and Environmental Sciences > Research > Plant Biochemistry > Bioactive compounds - ...

Bioactive compounds - Cyanogenic glucosides

Cyanogenesis is a wide-spread plant defense system against herbivores. Studies on cyanogenic glucosides include investigation in biosynthesis, degradation and function of these compounds in a number of plant species including crops like almond, barley, cassava, eucalyptus, sorghum and Lotus japonicus. In addition we study specialized lepidoptera which also may accumulate cyanogenic glucosides by uptake from its food plants and/or by de novo biosynthesis.

A recent theme in plant biology is the genomic clustering of non-homologous biosynthetic genes that together produce a plant chemical defense compound. Co-localization of pathway genes for cyanogenic glucoside biosynthesis has been identified, which leads to a proposed evolutionary mechanism that drives the formation of gene clusters. This leads to further research in the evolutionary aspect of how the pathways have evolved through time.

Plant metabolic pathways are regulated by developmental, metabolic and environmental signals to ensure the plant's adaptation to ever changing conditions.

The research in cyanogenic glucosides includes elucidation of the biosynthesis and turn-over of selected bioactive natural products (secondary metabolites) in plants. Studies of the assembly of the pathways within metabolons. As these bioactive compounds is not only involved in defense research is ongoing to investigate the other functional roles.