Terpenes and Terpenoids

  • Angelika BöttgerEmail author
  • Ute Vothknecht
  • Cordelia Bolle
  • Alexander Wolf
Part of the Learning Materials in Biosciences book series (LMB)


Terpenes and their derivatives, the terpenoids, are synthetized from a five carbon atom isoprene unit. These units are added to each other to give rise to compounds of different complexities. The synthesis takes place either in the cytosol (MVA pathway) or within the plastids (MEP pathway). Monoterpenes, diterpenes and tetraterpenes are products from the MEP pathway, whereas sesquiterpenes, sterols and triterpenes are derivatives from the MVA pathway. Tailoring enzymes leads to the variations observed. End products are important for plant growth such as hormones (gibberellin and brassinosteroids) or carotenoids. They can be simpler structures, which are sometimes also volatile (such as menthol or ß-caryophyllene) or more complex, even polycyclic (such as ryanodine or stigmasterol).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelika Böttger
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ute Vothknecht
    • 2
  • Cordelia Bolle
    • 3
  • Alexander Wolf
    • 4
  1. 1.Department Biology IILMU MunichPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
  2. 2.IZMB-Plant Cell BiologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department Biology ILMU MunichPlanegg-MartinsriedGermany
  4. 4.Inst. Molecular Toxicology/PharmacologyHelmholtz Zentrum MünichNeuherbergGermany

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