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This 42nd volume of Recent Advances in Phytochemistry (RAP) includes a total of seven articles, many, but not all, based on talks presented at the 50th annual meeting of the PSNA. As was seen in RAP volume 41, These seven Perspectives give a very good picture of the breadth of plant (bio)chemistry research in North America, which is also indicative of the state of the field worldwide. Each of these articles describes the integration of several different approaches to ask and then answer interesting questions regarding the function of interesting plant metabolites, either in the plant itself or in interactions with the environment (natural setting or human health application).
Many of these Perspectives have a strong ecological focus. McCormick et al. review the discovery of the biosynthetic pathway leading to production of trichothecene mycotoxins such as the T-2 toxin in plant pathogenic and other fungi. These compounds play very important roles in plant-pathogen interaction, and are very significant from a human health perspective. In a complementary paper, Duringer et al. describe recent technological advances in monitoring mycotoxins such as ergovaline and lysergic acid in forage crops, using state of the art and highly sensitive mass spectrometric means. Gross reviews the current understanding of how infochemicals mediate interactions between plants and insects, and highlights how such knowledge can be used to mitigate crop losses by pests.
Two Perspectives discuss how recent technological advances are making an impact on our understanding of the role of plant hormones in plant growth and development. Gouthu et al. outline highly sensitive methods for measurement of plant hormones in tissues such as developing grape berry. In contrast, McDowell and Gang outline how new transcriptional profiling techniques are shedding light on old questions, such as how rhizome development is regulated by different plant growth regulators. The last two Perspectives outline the role of biotechnology in modern plant biochemistry research.
Makhzoum et al. review the long history of use of hairy roots and provide perspective on future utility of this tissue type in continuing to uncover mechanisms of plant natural product biosynthesis, among other apolications. Dalton et al. outline, on the other hand, recent efforts to produce non-native polymers of human interest in plants and outline many of the challenges associated with such investigations.
Preface to Recent Advances in Phytochemistry Volume 42
1. Trichothecene Triangle - Toxins, Genes and Plant Disease
2. An analytical method to quantify three plant hormone-families in grape berry using liquid chromatography and multiple reaction monitoring mass spectrometry
3. Endophyte Mycotoxins in Animal Health
4. Production of Traditional and Novel Biopolymers in Transgenic Woody Plants
5. Drugs for Bugs: The Potential of Infochemicals Mediating Insect-Plant-Microbe Interactions for Plant Protection and Medicine
6. Hairy Roots: An Ideal Platform for Transgenic Plant Production and Other Promising Applications Abdullah B. Makhzoum, Pooja Sharma, Mark A. Bernards, Jocelyne
7. A Dynamic Model for Phytohormone Control of Rhizome Growth and Development