Special Issues

Plant Secondary Metabolism and Functional Biology

Submission Deadline: 30 July 2024 View: 11 Submit to Special Issue

Guest Editors

Dr. Cheng Song, West Anhui University, China
Dr. Muhammad Aamir Manzoor, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
Dr. Muhammad Abdullah, University of Queensland, Australia


Plants have evolved diverse secondary metabolic pathways, some of which serve as a portal for human demand for natural substances such as medicines, nutrition, agrochemicals, and chemical additives. However, the majority of secondary metabolites have low amounts, making them challenging to acquire on a large scale. Secondary metabolites are often spatiotemporally biosynthesized and are capable of adapting to and surviving a variety of biotic and abiotic stressors. Meanwhile, exogenous stimuli can initiate a cascade of regulatory processes, which increase the concentration of secondary metabolites. Recently, it was concluded that secondary metabolites in plants are not secondary because they contribute significantly to plant growth and development. Further investigation into their biosynthesis, regulation, and functions as stress-resistant compounds will lay the foundation for expanding the proportion of plant secondary metabolites. The aim of this thematic issue is to showcase studies that focus on (1) Identification of key genes involved in the regulation or biosynthesis of secondary metabolites; (2) Integrated application of omics technologies (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics) in secondary metabolites; (3) Heterologous production of valuable secondary metabolites by metabolic engineering.

We encourage original research and review articles on any of the following topics (but not limited to):

(1) Biosynthesis and molecular control of natural products made from plants

(2) Multi-omics approaches to the investigation of secondary metabolic pathways

(3) Metabolic engineering-based synthetic biology of valuable secondary metabolites

(4) Stress tolerance and physiological regulation mechanism of plants


Secondary metabolism, Multi-omics, Plant bioengineering, genomic variation, stress biology

Published Papers

  • Open Access


    Plant Chemical Defenses against Insect Herbivores—Using the Wild Tobacco as a Model

    Guangwei Sun, Xuanhao Zhang, Yi Liu, Liguang Chai, Daisong Liu, Zhenguo Chen, Shiyou Lü
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.4, pp. 641-659, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.049285
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Plant Secondary Metabolism and Functional Biology)
    Abstract The Nicotiana genus, commonly known as tobacco, holds significant importance as a crucial economic crop. Confronted with an abundance of herbivorous insects that pose a substantial threat to yield, tobacco has developed a diverse and sophisticated array of mechanisms, establishing itself as a model of plant ecological defense. This review provides a concise overview of the current understanding of tobacco’s defense strategies against herbivores. Direct defenses, exemplified by its well-known tactic of secreting the alkaloid nicotine, serve as a potent toxin against a broad spectrum of herbivorous pests. Moreover, in response to herbivore attacks, tobacco enhances… More >

  • Open Access


    Transcriptome-Wide Identification and Functional Analysis of PgSQE08-01 Gene in Ginsenoside Biosynthesis in Panax ginseng C. A. Mey.

    Lei Zhu, Lihe Hou, Yu Zhang, Yang Jiang, Yi Wang, Meiping Zhang, Mingzhu Zhao, Kangyu Wang
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.2, pp. 313-327, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.047938
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Plant Secondary Metabolism and Functional Biology)
    Abstract Panax ginseng C. A. Mey. is an important plant species used in traditional Chinese medicine, whose primary active ingredient is a ginsenoside. Ginsenoside biosynthesis is not only regulated by transcription factors but also controlled by a variety of structural genes. Nonetheless, the molecular mechanism underlying ginsenoside biosynthesis has always been a topic in the discussion of ginseng secondary metabolites. Squalene epoxidase (SQE) is a key enzyme in the mevalonic acid pathway, which affects the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites such as terpenoid. Using ginseng transcriptome, expression, and ginsenoside content databases, this study employed bioinformatic methods to systematically… More >

  • Open Access


    Analysis and Verification of the Conserved MYB Binding Element in the DFR Promoter in Compositae

    Jialei Guo, Fengzhen Li, Guomin Shi, Weimin Zhao, Tao He
    Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany, Vol.93, No.2, pp. 343-353, 2024, DOI:10.32604/phyton.2024.047429
    (This article belongs to the Special Issue: Plant Secondary Metabolism and Functional Biology)
    Abstract Anthocyanins, ubiquitous in the Compositae family, are regulated by MYB (v-myb avian myeloblastosis viral oncogene homolog), playing an important role in anthocyanin synthesis. In this study, we analyzed the regulation pathway in which the MYB protein of subgroup 6 promotes dihydroflavonol reductase (DFR) expression in Compositae, and validated this law in Saussurea medusa through yeast one-hybrid experiments. Our results showed that MYB and DFR underwent purification selection, DFR promoter analysis revealed the presence of MYB binding site (GAGTTGAATGG) and bHLH binding site (CANNTG) at the sense strand of 84–116 nucleotide residues from the start codon. These two More >

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