Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » New Orleans, Louisiana » Southern Regional Research Center » Commodity Utilization Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370603

Research Project: Developing Technologies that Enable Growth and Profitability in the Commercial Conversion of Sugarcane, Sweet Sorghum, and Energy Beets into Sugar, Advanced Biofuels, and bioproducts-Bridging Project

Location: Commodity Utilization Research

Title: Proton-coupled electron transfers of defense phytochemicals in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench)

item Uchimiya, Sophie

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/2020
Publication Date: 2/11/2020
Citation: Uchimiya, M. 2020. Proton-coupled electron transfers of defense phytochemicals in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 68(46):12978-12983.

Interpretive Summary: Phytochemicals are specific compounds produced and released by plants for their survival. This critical review illustrates the importance of fundamental reaction mechanisms in predicting the roles of phytochemicals in agriculture. The review will emphasize the importance of chemical phenotyping to interpret complex agro-ecosystems.

Technical Abstract: Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) produces a range of defense phytochemicals containing quinone core structure: sorgoleone allelochemical, flavonoid phytoalexins, and a broad spectrum of polyphenols. Those phytochemicals react with the components of cellular and agroecosystems to form stable semiquinone radicals engaging in different proton-coupled electron transfer reactions. This unique redox reactivity of plant phenolics could be used to develop bioactive food ingredients and green pesticides. To achieve those application goals, chemical phenotyping methods sensitive to quinone-semiquinone-dihydroxybenzene redox cycles (e.g., electrochemical conversion with fluorescence detection) are in demand. Chemometrics-based fingerprinting tools could facilitate on-farm screening of target traits for breeding innovations.