Chinese Bulletin of Botany ›› 2012, Vol. 47 ›› Issue (5): 525-533.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1259.2012.00525

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Research Advances in the Functions of Plant Folates

Sha Li1,2, Ling Jiang2, Chongying Wang1, Chunyi Zhang2*   

  1. 1School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China

    2Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2012-01-11 Revised:2012-04-10 Online:2012-09-01 Published:2012-07-24
  • Contact: Chunyi Zhang

Abstract: Folates are water-soluble B-vitamins that contain tetrahydrofolate (THF) and its derivatives. In plants, they are essential cofactors in C1 metabolism, being involved in the formation of purines and thymidylates for DNA synthesis, production of amino acids and proteins. They play a central role in the methyl cycle. Novel functions of folates in plants have been discovered recently. For example, folates regulate gene expression by the riboswitch, work as the electron donor when phenylalanine is converted to tyrosine, and harvest light as the coenzyme of photolyase and plant cryptochrome. Moreover, folate is involved in chlorophyll biosynthesis and oxidative tolerance of seeds, for example. We review these discoveries and give prospects for plant folate research.

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