Plants produce a multitude of complex and species specific metabolites to defend themselves against herbivores and pathogens, attract pollinators or symbionts, or mitigate abiotic stresses. These specialized metabolites are traditionally viewed as end products with a single physiological function. We challenge this view and uncover metabolic grids allowing plants to fine-tune their allocation of resources between molecules of different functions according to their physiological state or in response to environmental challenges.

We study glutathione transferases as novel key enzymes in specialized metabolism and their associated metabolic grids, and the defense compounds cyanogenic glucosides as a model for metabolic plasticity of specialized metabolism.

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