Lignans are particularly interesting secondary metabolites belonging to the phenyl-propanoid biosynthetic pathway. From the structural point of view, these molecules could belong to the aryltetralin, arylnaphtalene, or dibenzylbutyrolactone molecular skeleton. Lignans are present in different tissues of plants but are mainly accumulated in seeds. Extracts from plant tissues could be characterized by using the NMR-based approach, which provides a profile of aromatic molecules and detailed structural information for their elucidation. In order to improve the production of these secondary metabolites, elicitors could effectively stimulate lignan production. Several plant species are considered in this review with a particular focus on Linum
species, well recognized as the main producer of lignans.
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