chapter  21
Carbon Metabolic Pathways and Relationships with Plant Stress
WithCarlos M. Figueroa, Romina I. Minen, Florencio E. Podestá, Alberto A. Iglesias
Pages 16

Carbohydrates are the most abundant organic compounds in the biosphere. However, their importance is due not only to their abundance but also to the multifaceted critical functions they play in all cells and organisms. In plants, carbohydrates contribute to cell operation by (i) being key intermediates in many metabolic routes; (ii) forming part of many structural components; and (iii) transporting carbon and energy between tissues (Figueroa et al. 2016). Concerning involvement in energetic metabolism, carbohydrates are the main intermediates in glycolysis and the oxidative pentose-P pathway. Furthermore, these routes have an important task in providing carbon skeletons for the synthesis of a large number of cellular components, including lipids, nucleic acids, organic acids, and proteins. Carbohydrates are the chief components of structural molecules such as cellulose, the most abundant biomolecule. Also, sugars appear in combination with other compounds, such as in glycolipids and glycoproteins, which decisively determine cell structure and function. Still, starch constitutes a major storage product, whereas sucrose and polyols are leader metabolites for carbon mobilization between photosynthetic and heterotrophic tissues in plants (Figueroa et al. 2016).