Chemical Plant Defences

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  • Chemical Plant Defences
    • Terpenoids
      • range of essential oils
      • Have antibiotic and antifungal properties
      • Create scent e.g. menthols in mint plants
    • Phenols
      • Antibiotic & antifungal
      • Tannins in bark
        • inhibit insect attacks
          • prevent damage which could allow pathogens entry
        • bind to insect salivary proteins and digestive enzymes
          • e.g. chymotrypsin & trypsin
        • insects that ingest too much do not grow and eventually die
    • Alkaloids
      • Nitrogen compounds e.g. caffeine & nicotine
      • Bitter taste to herbivores
        • Reduced grazing
          • less damage suffered which could allow pathogens in
      • Affect metabolic reactions
        • inhibits / activates enzyme action
    • Defensins (defensive proteins)
      • cysteine-rich proteins with broad anti-microbial activity
      • act upon molecules in the cell membrane of pathogens
      • inhibit the action of ion transport channels
    • Hydrolytic Enzymes
      • Found in spaces between cells
      • e.g. chitinases
        • break down chitin in fungal cell walls
      • e.g. glucanases
        • hydrolyse glycosidic bonds in glucans
      • e.g. lysozymes
        • degrade bacterial cell walls

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