Carotenoids are mostly C40 terpenoids, a class of hydrocarbons that participate in various biological processes in plants, such as photosynthesis, photomorphogenesis, photoprotection, and development. Carotenoids also serve as precursors for two plant hormones and a diverse set of apocarotenoids. They are colorants and critical components of the human diet as antioxidants and provitamin A. In this review, we summarize current knowledge of the genes and enzymes involved in carotenoid metabolism and describe recent progress in understanding the regulatory mechanisms underlying carotenoid accumulation. The importance of the specific location of carotenoid enzyme metabolons and plastid types as well as of carotenoid-derived signals is discussed.
Keywords: carotenoid biosynthesis; degradation; development; plastids; sequestration; signaling.
Copyright © 2015 The Author. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.