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Ginsenosides are the major bioactive ingredients of rare traditional Chinese herbs of Panax ginseng and belong to specific types of triterpene saponins. There is much evidence that ginsenosides exert beneficial effects in a wide range of pathological conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, immune deficiency, and aging. It was reported that about 20 key enzymes and the encoding genes related to the biosynthesis of ginsenosides from Panax genus plants have been identified. This paper summarizes new progress in ginseng secondary metabolic pathways and genes of the key enzyme, focusing on the biosynthesis pathway of ginsenosides. In addition, the newly cloned and functionally identified genes encoding those key enzymes in the ginsenosides biosynthesis pathway are introduced in detail.
Soluble sugars, such as glucose and sucrose, play an important role in the cycle of plant life. They not only provide energy and mid-metabolites, but also act as signals, regulating the growth and development of plant. When regulating the plant, sugars with other signals such as hormone constitute complex transduction web. In this paper, we illuminate the regulation of soluble sugars in the development and growth of plant, and the interaction of soluble sugars and phytohormones, and environment factors.
The alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus are noticed extensively as vinblastine and vincristine have been the important anticancer drugs recently, and the concerned studies developed rapidly. On the basis of many disciplines, metabolic biology of alkaloid is a new interdiscipline which contains many fields, and what it studied is the biosynthetic process of the alkaloids in the biosynthetic pathway. This paper attempts to give a brief review on the metabolic biology of the alkaloids in Catharanthus roseus, involving the biosynthetic pathway, regulatory factors, and biosynthesis and storage position of the alkaloids in C. roseus, and the perspective of researches on biological function also has been given.