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Plant betalains: Chemistry and biochemistry

Imtiyaj Khan, Mohammad and Giridhar, P. (2015) Plant betalains: Chemistry and biochemistry. Phytochemistry, 117. pp. 267-295.

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Betalains are vacuolar pigments composed of a nitrogenous core structure, betalamic acid [4-(2-oxoethylidene)- 1,2,3,4-tetrahydropyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid]. Betalamic acid condenses with imino compounds (cyclo-L-3,4-dihydroxy-phenylalanine/its glucosyl derivatives), or amino acids/derivatives to form variety of betacyanins (violet) and betaxanthins (yellow), respectively. About 75 betalains have been structurally unambiguously identified from plants of about 17 families (known till date) out of 34 families under the order Caryophyllales, wherein they serve as chemosystematic markers. In this review, all the identified betalain structures are presented with relevant discussion. Also, an estimated annual production potential of betalains has been computed for the first time. In addition, mutual exclusiveness of anthocyanins and betalains has been discussed in the wake of new evidences. An inclusive list of betalain- accumulating plants reported so far has been presented here to highlight pigment occurrence and accumulation pattern. Betalain synthesis starts with hydroxylation of tyrosine to DOPA, and subsequent cleavage of aromatic ring of DOPA resulting to betalamic acid formation. This pathway consists of two key enzymes namely, bifunctional tyrosinase (hydroxylation and oxidation) and DOPA dioxygenase (O2-dependent aromatic ring cleavage). Various spontaneous cyclisation, condensation and glucosylation steps complement the extended pathway, which has been presented here comprehensively. The biosynthesis is affected by various ecophysiological factors including biotic and abiotic elicitors that can be manipulated to increase pigment production for commercial scale extraction. Betalains are completely safe to consume, and contribute to health.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Betacyanins Betaxanthins Biosynthesis Regulation Ecophysiological factors
Subjects: 500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 10 Plants
500 Natural Sciences and Mathematics > 07 Life Sciences > 03 Biochemistry & Molecular Biology > 18 Phytochemistry
Divisions: Plant Cell Biotechnology
Depositing User: Food Sci. & Technol. Information Services
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2016 06:30
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2016 06:30
URI: http://ir.cftri.com/id/eprint/12570

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