Ascorbate degradation: pathways, products and possibilities

Christopher M. Ford*, Crystal Sweetman, Stephen C. Fry

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A role for l-ascorbate as the precursor of several plant compounds adds to its already broad metabolic utility. There are many examples of plant species in which oxalate and l-threonate are formed from l-ascorbate breakdown, and a number of roles have been proposed for this: structural, physiological, and biochemical. On the other hand, the synthesis of l-tartrate from l-ascorbate remains limited to a very few species, amongst which we must be grateful to count the domesticated grapevine Vitis vinifera and its relatives on which wine production is based. Pathways for the degradation of ascorbate were first proposed ~50 years ago and have formed the basis of more recent biochemical and molecular analyses. The present review seeks to summarize some of these findings and to propose opportunities for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbererae048
Pages (from-to)2733-2739
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Botany
Issue number9
Early online date13 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2024

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • apoplastic
  • ascorbate
  • oxalate
  • protoplasmic
  • raphides
  • tartrate
  • threonate


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