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      Triterpene biosynthesis in plants.

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          Abstract

          The triterpenes are one of the most numerous and diverse groups of plant natural products. They are complex molecules that are, for the most part, beyond the reach of chemical synthesis. Simple triterpenes are components of surface waxes and specialized membranes and may potentially act as signaling molecules, whereas complex glycosylated triterpenes (saponins) provide protection against pathogens and pests. Simple and conjugated triterpenes have a wide range of applications in the food, health, and industrial biotechnology sectors. Here, we review recent developments in the field of triterpene biosynthesis, give an overview of the genes and enzymes that have been identified to date, and discuss strategies for discovering new triterpene biosynthetic pathways.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Annu Rev Plant Biol
          Annual review of plant biology
          1545-2123
          1543-5008
          2014
          : 65
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Metabolic Biology, John Innes Centre, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7UH, United Kingdom; email: anne.osbourn@jic.ac.uk.
          Article
          10.1146/annurev-arplant-050312-120229
          24498976
          a52ef605-63a9-4275-9e84-0a1210e42204
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