Biotech Updates

Scientists Uncover How Plants Create Benzoic Acid

September 26, 2012

Purdue University scientists led by Prof. Natalia Dudareva, have mapped the entire pathway used by plants to create benzoic acid. Professor Dudareva, a horticulturist, said that plants use benzoic acid to create "beneficial compounds" such as defensive compounds and growth regulators, and also to attract pollinators. Plants make benzoic acid by modifying the chemical structure of cinnamic acid in a similar manner that many organisms break down fatty acids. According to Professor Dudareva, the results of their study will help scientists breed future crops with increased benzoic acid production.

Read the results of this study at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (doi:10.1073/pnas.1211001109). The news release is available at