Volatile terpenoids released from different plant parts play crucial roles in pollinator attraction, plant defense, and interaction with the surrounding environment. Two distinct pathways localized in different subcellular compartments are responsible for the biosynthesis of these compounds. Recent advances in the characterization of genes and enzymes responsible for substrate and end product biosynthesis as well as efforts in metabolic engineering have revealed new aspects of volatile terpenoid biosynthesis. This review summarizes recent progress in the characterization of volatile terpenoid biosynthetic genes, their spatio-temporal expression patterns and subcellular localization of corresponding proteins. In addition, recent information obtained from metabolic engineering is discussed.
Copyright 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.