Participation of Phytochemicals in Plant Development and Growth
Phytochemicals, also known as natural products and specialized compounds, display well known functions in plants providing varying levels of protection to biotic and abiotic stress conditions. The biosynthesis of phytochemicals is tightly spatio-temporally regulated, often restricted to specialized cells, yet their transport within plants allow them to interact with, and modulate, other signalling networks. In this chapter, we describe how phytochemicals participate in plant development and growth, further blurring the boundaries between primary and secondary metabolism, and between hormones and phytochemicals.
KeywordsPollen Tube Seed Coat Calorie Restriction Auxin Transport Pollen Germination
Phytohormones are substances that, at low concentration, function to coordinate plant growth and development. The compounds that have been considered as plant hormones include indole-3-acetic acid (auxin), cytokinins, gibberellins (GA), ethylene and abscisic acid (ABA). In addition, brassinosteroids, jasmonic acid (JA) and salicylic acid (SA) have been shown to display important growth regulating activities and are also considered to function as phytohormones.
Interspecies communication of stress signals. This term as been proposed by Howitz and Sinclair  to explain the ability of animals and fungi to “sense” and being activated by molecules that are not produced in these organisms, such as phytochemicals.
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