Role of secondary metabolites in defense mechanisms of plants


Journal / Book:Biology and Medicine


Published Date : Nov 30,2010



In all natural habitats, plants are surrounded by an enormous number of potential enemies (biotic) and various kinds of abiotic environmental stress. Nearly all ecosystems contain a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, fungi, nematodes, mites, insects, mammals and other herbivorous animals, greatly responsible for heavy reduction in crop productivity. By their nature, plants protect themselves by producing some compounds called as secondary metabolites. Secondary metabolites, including terpenes, phenolics and nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) containing compounds, defend plants against a variety of herbivores and pathogenic microorganisms as well as various kinds of abiotic stresses. This review presents an overview about some of the mechanisms by which plants protect themselves against herbivory, pathogenic microbes and various abiotic stresses as well as specific plant responses to pathogen attack, the genetic control of host-pathogen interactions.

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