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Molecules 2014, 19(7), 9114-9133; doi:10.3390/molecules19079114

Red Card for Pathogens: Phytoalexins in Sorghum and Maize

Department of Microbial Genetics, Institute of Applied Microbiology, Aachen Biology and Biotechnology, RWTH Aachen University, Worringerweg 1, Aachen 52074, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 26 June 2014 / Accepted: 26 June 2014 / Published: 30 June 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytoalexins: Current Progress and Future Prospects)
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Cereal crop plants such as maize and sorghum are constantly being attacked by a great variety of pathogens that cause large economic losses. Plants protect themselves against pathogens by synthesizing antimicrobial compounds, which include phytoalexins. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on phytoalexins produced by sorghum (luteolinidin, apigeninidin) and maize (zealexin, kauralexin, DIMBOA and HDMBOA). For these molecules, we highlight biosynthetic pathways, known intermediates, proposed enzymes, and mechanisms of elicitation. Finally, we discuss the involvement of phytoalexins in plant resistance and their possible application in technology, medicine and agriculture. For those whose world is round we tried to set the scene in the context of a hypothetical football game in which pathogens fight with phytoalexins on the different playing fields provided by maize and sorghum.
Keywords: luteolinidin; apigeninidin; kauralexin; zealexin; DIMBOA; HDMBOA; biosynthesis; regulation; sorghum; maize luteolinidin; apigeninidin; kauralexin; zealexin; DIMBOA; HDMBOA; biosynthesis; regulation; sorghum; maize

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Poloni, A.; Schirawski, J. Red Card for Pathogens: Phytoalexins in Sorghum and Maize. Molecules 2014, 19, 9114-9133.

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