Metabolomic characterization of plant exudates and their correlation with plant defense systems
Plant exudates appeared long time ago in the history line of life in the early Devonian. They are typical saps produced by specialized cells.
- Salome Abarca, L.F.
- 18 June 2020
- Thesis in Leiden Repository
Plant exudates appeared long time ago in the history line of life in the early Devonian. They are typical saps produced by specialized cells. They can be naturally excreted outside or right after plants are damaged or infected. Through time, diverse cultures recognized them as valuable sources of natural medicines. Of various types of plant exudates, the most outstanding are gums, mucilage, essential oils, oleoresins, resins, phloem like saps, and latexes. Regardless of their commercial importance, in the aspect of biology, plant exudates are believed to be involved in plant defense mechanisms, but their roles still remain unclear. In this thesis, based on diverse experiments, many features of plant exudates were unveiled. Interestingly, even if plant exudates possess a broad chemical diversity, their specialized biological functions resulted in less variation of their metabolomes as compared with their bearing tissues. This lower variation indicates that plant exudates might partake of a general-broad defense against herbivores and pathogens in their bearing tissues. This defense involves both mechanical and chemical traits which might complement and modulate each other, eventually resulting in a chemo-mechanical defense layer. Of the diverse chemicals in plant exudates, terpenes are one of the most common metabolites in these saps.