Next Article in Journal
Synthesis of Polyheterocyclic Pyrrolo[3,4-b]pyridin-5-ones via a One-Pot (Ugi-3CR/aza Diels-Alder/N-acylation/aromatization/SN2) Process. A Suitable Alternative towards Novel Aza-Analogues of Falipamil
Next Article in Special Issue
Tricycloalternarene Analogs from a Symbiotic Fungus Aspergillus sp. D and Their Antimicrobial and Cytotoxic Effects
Previous Article in Journal
Synthesis, Molecular Docking Studies, In Vitro Antimicrobial and Antifungal Activities of Novel Dipeptide Derivatives Based on N-(2-(2-Hydrazinyl-2-oxoethylamino)-2-oxoethyl)-Nicotinamide
Previous Article in Special Issue
Therapeutic Perspectives of 8-Prenylnaringenin, a Potent Phytoestrogen from Hops
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 762;

Response of Plant Secondary Metabolites to Environmental Factors

Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, Ningbo 315100, China
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Helen D. Skaltsa and Marina Sokovic
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 21 March 2018 / Accepted: 23 March 2018 / Published: 27 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Activity of Secondary Metabolites)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3618 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  


Plant secondary metabolites (SMs) are not only a useful array of natural products but also an important part of plant defense system against pathogenic attacks and environmental stresses. With remarkable biological activities, plant SMs are increasingly used as medicine ingredients and food additives for therapeutic, aromatic and culinary purposes. Various genetic, ontogenic, morphogenetic and environmental factors can influence the biosynthesis and accumulation of SMs. According to the literature reports, for example, SMs accumulation is strongly dependent on a variety of environmental factors such as light, temperature, soil water, soil fertility and salinity, and for most plants, a change in an individual factor may alter the content of SMs even if other factors remain constant. Here, we review with emphasis how each of single factors to affect the accumulation of plant secondary metabolites, and conduct a comparative analysis of relevant natural products in the stressed and unstressed plants. Expectantly, this documentary review will outline a general picture of environmental factors responsible for fluctuation in plant SMs, provide a practical way to obtain consistent quality and high quantity of bioactive compounds in vegetation, and present some suggestions for future research and development. View Full-Text
Keywords: plant secondary metabolites; phenolics; flavonoids; terpenoids; alkaloids; responses; environmental factors; light irradiation; temperature; soil water; soil fertility and salinity plant secondary metabolites; phenolics; flavonoids; terpenoids; alkaloids; responses; environmental factors; light irradiation; temperature; soil water; soil fertility and salinity

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, L.; Wen, K.-S.; Ruan, X.; Zhao, Y.-X.; Wei, F.; Wang, Q. Response of Plant Secondary Metabolites to Environmental Factors. Molecules 2018, 23, 762.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top