The chemical logic of plant natural product biosynthesis

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2014 Jun;19:51-8. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2014.03.007. Epub 2014 Apr 14.


Understanding the logic of plant natural product biosynthesis is important for three reasons: it guides the search for new natural products and pathways, illuminates the function of existing pathways in the context of host biology, and builds an enabling 'parts list' for plant and microbial metabolic engineering. In this review, we highlight the chemical themes that underlie a broad range of plant pathways, dividing pathways into two parts: scaffold-generating steps that draw on a limited set of chemistries, and tailoring reactions that produce a wide range of end products from a small number of common scaffolds.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aldehydes / metabolism*
  • Amines / metabolism
  • Biological Products / metabolism*
  • Cyclization
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Aldehydes
  • Amines
  • Biological Products