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, 19 (10), 16240-65

Flavonoids as Important Molecules of Plant Interactions With the Environment


Flavonoids as Important Molecules of Plant Interactions With the Environment

Justyna Mierziak et al. Molecules.


Flavonoids are small molecular secondary metabolites synthesized by plants with various biological activities. Due to their physical and biochemical properties, they are capable of participating in plants' interactions with other organisms (microorganisms, animals and other plants) and their reactions to environmental stresses. The majority of their functions result from their strong antioxidative properties. Although an increasing number of studies focus on the application of flavonoids in medicine or the food industry, their relevance for the plants themselves also deserves extensive investigations. This review summarizes the current knowledge on the functions of flavonoids in the physiology of plants and their relations with the environment.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Classification of flavonoids.
Figure 2
Figure 2
The role of flavonoids in the interactions between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and legume plants. Flavonoids are released by the plant bind to and activate NodD protein, which, in turn, attaches to no-box cassettes in the promoter sequences of nod genes, leading to the production of nod proteins and subsequently nod factors. These molecules bind to the nod factor receptors (NR) localized on the plant cell membrane, starting a cascade of signal transduction. This signal activates various gene expression, leading to root hair deformation, formation of infection thread, flavonoid biosynthesis, cell division and, finally, root nodule formation.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Flavonoids’ interference with PIN and MDR/ABC proteins, as well as with PID, WAK and PDK1 kinases leads to impaired auxin transport.

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