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Publication date: 2002-09-30
Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2002;52(3):3–12
The well known function of saccharides in higher plants is known to be the primary form of energy absorption in chloroplasts, its transformation to the chemical one (in the form of simple saccharides) and transport to other tissues unable to photosynthesis, as well as its utilisation in all anabolic processes. Recently however much information have become available, which demonstrated or suggested many nonenergetic uses of this group of compounds. Besides glucose, fructose and sucrose, known as basic photosynthesis products or energy transporters, also the regulatory functions were shown. Similar function was also settled for enzymes catalysing basic metabolic reactions of these saccharides, including also those of nonconventional metabolism - trehalose, mannitol, and some others. The known catabolic glucose route typical for anoxia conditions - ethanolic fermentation was demonstrated also to play a significant role in regulation of normal metabolism (in presence of O2), as its final products - acetaldehyde and ethanol, as well as enzymes catalyzing their formation, are active in increasing tolerance to stress and defence against pathogens. The above-mentioned (and some other) functions of saccharides and enzymes cooperating in their metabolism, are presented in this review.