Advances in Flavonoid Glycosyltransferase Research: Integrating Recent Findings With Long-Term Citrus Studies

Document Type


Publication Date



Flavonoid glycosides are required for a number of crucial roles in planta and have the potential for development in a variety of agricultural, medicinal, and biotechnological applications. A number of recent advancements have been made in characterizing glycosyltransferases, the enzymes that are responsible for the synthesis of these important molecules. In this review, glycosyltransferases are considered with regard to biochemical properties, expression patterns, levels of enzyme activity during development, and structure/function relationships. This is presented with historical context to highlight critical findings, particularly with regard to the innovative work that has come from research on citrus species. The plant glycosyltransferase crystal structures that have been solved over the past decade, either alone or in complex with sugar donor and/or acceptor molecules, are discussed. The application of results from these structures to inform current structure/function work as well as implications and goals for future crystallography and tertiary modeling studies are considered. A thorough understanding of the properties of glycosyltransferases will be a critical step in any future biotechnological application of these enzymes in areas such as crop improvement and custom design of enzymes to produce desired compounds for nutritional and/or medicinal usage.