Entomologist Xinzhi Ni, who collaborated with the teams led by Huffaker and Schmelz, is optimistic that new indices derived from the terpenoid phytoalexin
studies will prove useful to a corn-breeding program under way at ARS's Crop Genetics and Breeding Research Unit in Tifton, Georgia.
The investigators are proposing the creation of a new area within functional food research--phytoalexin
-enriched foods--that utilizes induced plant compounds or phytoalexins
created during the pre- or post-harvest period.
The ability of phytoalexins
to inhibit cell division and to arrest the growth of invading organisms quickly caught the attention of cancer researchers.
Results showed that phytoalexins
in the extracts contributed to antimicrobial activity against H.
Within hours these events are followed by a broad spectrum of metabolic modifications that include: (a) stimulation of the phenylpropanoid and fatty acid pathways, (b) production of defense-specific chemical messengers such as salicylic acid (SA) or jasmonates, and (c) accumulation of components with antimicrobial activities such as phytoalexins
and pathogenesis related (PR) proteins (Hutcheson, 1998).
A recent study spearheaded by researchers at the Tulane Cancer Center and Center for Bioenvironmental Research demonstrates that glyceollins, the main phytoalexins
produced by soybeans, may prove to be highly effective in blocking the growth and spread of gynecologic cancers.
Produced by grapes, berries, peanuts, and certain other plants in response to stressful conditions, resveratrol and related biochemicals known as phytoalexins
function as natural antibiotics, protecting plants against attack by pathogens.
Investigation of the reactions of cruciferous fungal pathogens to several phytoalexins
demonstrated that each species can metabolize and detoxify phytoalexins
via different pathways.
HPLC analysis of grapevine phytoalexins
coupling photodiode array detection and fluorometry.
On the other hand, it is known that in some plants phenolpropanoids are required for the formation of phytoalexins
(Dixon et al.
Perhaps the light increases the production of antimicrobial compounds such as phytoalexins
Two polyacetylenic phytoalexins
from Arctium lappa.