Distribution of the tryptophan pathway-derived defensive secondary metabolites gramine and benzoxazinones in Poaceae

Yu Kokubo, Miho Nishizaka, Naoki Ube, Yukinori Yabuta, Shin Ichi Tebayashi, Kotomi Ueno, Shin Taketa, Atsushi Ishihara

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7 Citations (Scopus)


The Poaceae is a large taxonomic group consisting of approximately 12,000 species and is classified into 12 subfamilies. Gramine and benzoxazinones (Bxs), which are biosynthesized from the tryptophan pathway, are well-known defensive secondary metabolites in the Poaceae. We analyzed the presence or absence of garamine and Bxs in 64 species in the Poaceae by LC-MS/MS. We found that Hordeum brachyantherum and Hakonechloa macra accumulated gramine, but the presence of gramine was limited to small groups of species. We also detected Bxs in four species in the Pooideae and six species in the Panicoideae. In particular, four species in the Paniceae tribe in Panicoideae accumulaed Bxs, indicating that this tribe is a center of the Bx distribution. Bxs were absent in the subfamilies other than Pooideae and Panicoideae. These findings provide an overview of biased distribution of gramine and Bxs in Poaceae species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-440
Number of pages10
JournalBioscience, Biotechnology and Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • Benzoxazinones
  • Gramine
  • Poaceae
  • Secondary metabolism
  • Tryptophan pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Organic Chemistry

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