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In plants, carotenoids are essential for photosynthesis and photoprotection. However, carotenoids are not the end products of the pathway; apocarotenoids are produced by carotenoid cleavage dioxygenases (CCDs) or non-enzymatic processes. Apocarotenoids are more soluble or volatile than carotenoids but they are not simply breakdown products, as there can be modifications post-cleavage and their functions include hormones, volatiles, and signals. Evidence is emerging for a class of apocarotenoids, here referred to as apocarotenoid signals (ACSs), that have regulatory roles throughout plant development beyond those ascribed to abscisic acid (ABA) and strigolactone (SL). In this context we review studies of carotenoid feedback regulation, chloroplast biogenesis, stress signaling, and leaf and root development providing evidence that apocarotenoids may fine-tune plant development and responses to environmental stimuli. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Xin Hou, John Rivers, Patricia León, Ryan P McQuinn, Barry J Pogson. Synthesis and Function of Apocarotenoid Signals in Plants. Trends in plant science. 2016 Sep;21(9):792-803

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PMID: 27344539

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