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      β-Glucosidases as detonators of plant chemical defense

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          Abstract

          Some plant secondary metabolites are classified as phytoanticipins. When plant tissue in which they are present is disrupted, the phytoanticipins are bio-activated by the action of beta-glucosidases. These binary systems--two sets of components that when separated are relatively inert--provide plants with an immediate chemical defense against protruding herbivores and pathogens. This review provides an update on our knowledge of the beta-glucosidases involved in activation of the four major classes of phytoanticipins: cyanogenic glucosides, benzoxazinoid glucosides, avenacosides and glucosinolates. New aspects of the role of specific proteins that either control oligomerization of the beta-glucosidases or modulate their product specificity are discussed in an evolutionary perspective.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Phytochemistry
          Phytochemistry
          Elsevier BV
          00319422
          June 2008
          June 2008
          : 69
          : 9
          : 1795-1813
          Article
          10.1016/j.phytochem.2008.03.006
          18472115
          © 2008

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