Special Issue "Natural Flavonoids: Structure Elucidation, Distribution and Applications"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)
Prof. Dr. Tsukasa Iwashina
Department of Botany, National Museum of Nature and Science, Amakubo 4-1-1, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0005, Japan
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Interests: flavonoid distribution in plants; new flavonoid compounds; chemical adaptation of plants against various severe environment using polyphenols; flower colors and flavonoid pigments
Flavonoid is the general name of compounds that have a fifteen-carbon skeleton, which consists of two phenyl rings (A- and B-rings) connected by a three-carbone bridge (C-ring). In general, vascular plants and bryophytes alone possess the biosynthetic ability of the flavonoids, except for a few green alga, fungi, and marine coral. Flavonoids are divided into several classes, e.g., anthocyanins, flavones, flavonols, chalcones, aurones, flavanones, dihydroflavonols, isoflavonoids, flavan and proanthocyanidins, biflavonoids etc. Moreover, numerous sorts of flavonoids occur in plants with additional hydroxyl, methoxyl, methyl and/or glycosyl substitution patterns. Additionally, aromatic and aliphatic acids, sulfate, methylenedioxyl or prenyl groups also attach to flavonoid nucleus and their glycosides. Thus, ca. 9000 kinds of flavonoids have been reported as naturally-occurring compounds. The isolation and identification, structures and distribution of the flavonoids in plants have been reviewed by many authors. Flavonoids, as medicinal resources, were also reviewed. Especially, the pigments, anthocyanins, were recently observed as having effects including antioxidant, antitumor, astringents, etc. However, the secondary metabolites involved in flavonoids were considered to be waste products of plant metabolism in the early days of the 20th century. One of the most important functions of flavonoids may be to serve as an ultraviolet filter in land plants. It has been shown by surveys of some plants that flavonoids act as a UV shield. The occurrence of anthocyanins as pollinator attractants is well-known as a function of flavonoids in plants. Additionally, it is known that flavones and flavonols, which can hardly be seen by the human eye, also act as pollinator attractants in addition to visible anthocyanins. Recently, other functions, e.g., oviposition stimulants, feeding attractants, feeding deterrents, allelopathy and phytoalexins of naturally-occurring flavonoids, have been reported by many authors. However, although almost vascular plants have synthesize abilities of the flavonoids, the presence of flavonoids may be known in ca. 25% of all plants on the Earth, and, moreover, the function of flavonoids in plants are hardly reported.
In this Special Issue, we will publish papers on new flavonoids, new flavonoid resources, flavonoid functions in plants, including as a UV shield, phytoalexins, allelopathy, oviposition stimulants, feeding attractants, feeding deterrent, and contribution of flavonoids, including anthocyanins to flower colors, and so on.
Prof. Dr. Tsukasa Iwashina
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- flavonoid distribution in plants
- new flavonoid resources
- new compounds
- chemical ecology
- chemical adaptation
- medicinal resources
- plant pigments
- flower colors