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      Antioxidants and Antioxidant Enzymes in Higher Plants 

      Flavonoids (Antioxidants Systems) in Higher Plants and Their Response to Stresses

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          Chemistry and Biological Activities of Flavonoids: An Overview

          There has been increasing interest in the research on flavonoids from plant sources because of their versatile health benefits reported in various epidemiological studies. Since flavonoids are directly associated with human dietary ingredients and health, there is need to evaluate structure and function relationship. The bioavailability, metabolism, and biological activity of flavonoids depend upon the configuration, total number of hydroxyl groups, and substitution of functional groups about their nuclear structure. Fruits and vegetables are the main dietary sources of flavonoids for humans, along with tea and wine. Most recent researches have focused on the health aspects of flavonoids for humans. Many flavonoids are shown to have antioxidative activity, free radical scavenging capacity, coronary heart disease prevention, hepatoprotective, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer activities, while some flavonoids exhibit potential antiviral activities. In plant systems, flavonoids help in combating oxidative stress and act as growth regulators. For pharmaceutical purposes cost-effective bulk production of different types of flavonoids has been made possible with the help of microbial biotechnology. This review highlights the structural features of flavonoids, their beneficial roles in human health, and significance in plants as well as their microbial production.
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            Flavonoids as antioxidants in plants: location and functional significance.

            Stress-responsive dihydroxy B-ring-substituted flavonoids have great potential to inhibit the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reduce the levels of ROS once they are formed, i.e., to perform antioxidant functions. These flavonoids are located within or in the proximity of centers of ROS generation in severely stressed plants. Efficient mechanisms have been recently identified for the transport of flavonoids from the endoplasmic reticulum, the site of their biosynthesis, to different cellular compartments. The mechanism underlying flavonoid-mediated ROS reduction in plants is still unclear. 'Antioxidant' flavonoids are found in the chloroplast, which suggests a role as scavengers of singlet oxygen and stabilizers of the chloroplast outer envelope membrane. Dihydroxy B-ring substituted flavonoids are present in the nucleus of mesophyll cells and may inhibit ROS-generation making complexes with Fe and Cu ions. The genes that govern the biosynthesis of antioxidant flavonoids are present in liverworts and mosses and are mostly up-regulated as a consequence of severe stress. This suggests that the antioxidant flavonoid metabolism is a robust trait of terrestrial plants. Vacuolar dihydroxy B-ring flavonoids have been reported to serve as co-substrates for vacuolar peroxidases to reduce H(2)O(2) escape from the chloroplast, following the depletion of ascorbate peroxidase activity. Antioxidant flavonoids may effectively control key steps of cell growth and differentiation, thus acting regulating the development of the whole plant and individual organs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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              How relevant are flavonoids as antioxidants in plants?

              Flavonoids are a large family of plant secondary metabolites, principally recognized for their health-promoting properties in human diets. Most flavonoids outperform well-known antioxidants, such as ascorbate (vitamin C) and alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E), in in vitro antioxidant assays because of their strong capacity to donate electrons or hydrogen atoms. However, experimental evidence for an antioxidant function in plants is limited to a few individual flavonoids under very specific experimental and developmental conditions. As we discuss here, although flavonoids have been demonstrated to accumulate with oxidative stress during abiotic and biotic environmental assaults, a convincing spatio-temporal correlation with the flavonoid oxidation products is not yet available. Thereby, the widely accepted antioxidant function of flavonoids in plants is still a matter of debate.
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                Author and book information

                Book Chapter
                2018
                March 11 2018
                : 253-268
                10.1007/978-3-319-75088-0_12
                c2a22536-3737-4bd8-ae27-fc9bf6a9cc07
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