Biology:Primary metabolite

From HandWiki
Short description: Intermediate or end product of metabolism which is directly and prominently involved in growth, development and reproduction

A primary metabolite is a kind of metabolite that is directly involved in normal growth, development, and reproduction. It usually performs a physiological function in the organism (i.e. an intrinsic function). A primary metabolite is typically present in many organisms or cells. It is also referred to as a central metabolite, which has an even more restricted meaning (present in any autonomously growing cell or organism). Some common examples of primary metabolites include: lactic acid, and certain amino acids. Note that primary metabolites do not show any pharmacological actions or effects.

Conversely, a secondary metabolite is not directly involved in those processes, but usually has an important ecological function (i.e. a relational function). A secondary metabolite is typically present in a taxonomically restricted set of organisms or cells (plants, fungi, bacteria, etc). Some common examples of secondary metabolites include: ergot alkaloids, antibiotics, naphthalenes, nucleosides, phenazines, quinolines, terpenoids, peptides and growth factors.

Plant growth regulators may be classified as both primary and secondary metabolites due to their role in plant growth and development.[1][2][3][4] Some of them are intermediates between primary and secondary metabolism.[5]

See also


  1. "Plant Physiology|Digital Textbook Library" (in en-US). 
  2. Prins, Cláudia L.; Vieira, Ivo J. C.; Freitas, Silvério P. (2010). "Growth regulators and essential oil production". Brazilian Journal of Plant Physiology 22 (2): 91–102. doi:10.1590/S1677-04202010000200003. ISSN 1677-0420. 
  3. Buchanan, Bob B.; Gruissem, Wilhelm; Jones, Russell L. (2015-07-02) (in en). Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118502198. 
  4. (in en) Herbivores: Their Interactions with Secondary Plant Metabolites: Ecological and Evolutionary Processes. Academic Press. 2012-12-02. ISBN 9780080925455. 
  5. Seigler, David S. (2012-12-06) (in en). Plant Secondary Metabolism. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9781461549130.