Pyrimidine and purine biosynthesis and degradation in plants

Annu Rev Plant Biol. 2006;57:805-36. doi: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.57.032905.105421.


Nucleotide metabolism operates in all living organisms, embodies an evolutionarily ancient and indispensable complex of metabolic pathways and is of utmost importance for plant metabolism and development. In plants, nucleotides can be synthesized de novo from 5-phosphoribosyl-1-pyrophosphate and simple molecules (e.g., CO(2), amino acids, and tetrahydrofolate), or be derived from preformed nucleosides and nucleobases via salvage reactions. Nucleotides are degraded to simple metabolites, and this process permits the recycling of phosphate, nitrogen, and carbon into central metabolic pools. Despite extensive biochemical knowledge about purine and pyrimidine metabolism, comprehensive studies of the regulation of this metabolism in plants are only starting to emerge. Here we review progress in molecular aspects and recent studies on the regulation and manipulation of nucleotide metabolism in plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Hydrolysis
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Purines / biosynthesis*
  • Purines / metabolism
  • Pyrimidines / biosynthesis*
  • Pyrimidines / metabolism


  • Purines
  • Pyrimidines