Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Agrochemicals
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2002
Publication Date: January 15, 2003
Interpretive Summary: This is a book chapter. No Interpretive Summary is required.
Technical Abstract: The physiological functions of carotenoids are essential for the health of plants. In particular, their ability to quench excess energy due to photoexcitation of chlorophyll under high light intensity is necessary to stabilize the photosynthetic apparatus. Inhibiting this pathway with herbicides is particularly suitable because animals do not synthesize these pigments, making these herbicides relatively safe. Furthermore, the commercially available inhibitors of carotenoid synthesis act at very low rates, making these compounds environmentally friendly. However, inhibitors of carotenoid biosynthesis do not have very good selectivity, and as a result, account for a relatively small portion of the herbicide market. Nonetheless, these herbicides have unique mechanisms of action that make them useful tools in the arsenal of compounds available for modern agricultural practices.