J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2012, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (10): 703-712.DOI: 10.1111/j.1744-7909.2012.01161.x

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Transcriptional regulation of plant secondary metabolism

Chang-Qing Yang1, Xin Fang1, Xiu-Ming Wu1, Ying-Bo Mao1, Ling-Jian Wang1 and Xiao-Ya Chen1,2*   

  1. 1National Key Laboratory of Plant Molecular Genetics, Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 300 Fenglin Road, Shanghai 200032, China
    2Plant Science Research Center, Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden, Shanghai 201602, China
  • Received:2012-07-17 Accepted:2012-08-22 Published:2012-10-01
  • About author:*Corresponding author Tel: +86 21 5492 4001; Fax: +86 21 5492 4015; E-mail: xychen@sibs.ac.cn


Plant secondary metabolites play critical roles in plant-environment interactions. They are synthesized in different organs or tissues at particular developmental stages, and in response to various environmental stimuli, both biotic and abiotic. Accordingly, corresponding genes are regulated at the transcriptional level by multiple transcription factors. Several families of transcription factors have been identified to participate in controlling the biosynthesis and accumulation of secondary metabolites. These regulators integrate internal (often developmental) and external signals, bind to corresponding cis-elements — which are often in the promoter regions — to activate or repress the expression of enzyme-coding genes, and some of them interact with other transcription factors to form a complex. In this review, we summarize recent research in these areas, with an emphasis on newly-identified transcription factors and their functions in metabolism regulation.

Yang CQ, Fang X, Wu XM, Mao YB, Wang LJ, Chen XY (2012) Transcriptional regulation of plant secondary metabolism. J. Integr. Plant Biol. 54(10), 703–712.

Key words: Alkaloid, phenylpropanoid, secondary metabolism, terpenoid, transcription factor

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