Monday, 6 July 2020

June phytochemicals: A giant genome and saffron carotenoids

Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! This week: diosgenin - a building block used by Paris polyphylla (the plant with the biggest genome sequenced to date - 70Gb!) to produce polyphyllins. Diosgenin is used in the commercial synthesis of cortisone, progesterone, and other steroid products.

Happy #PhytochemicalFriday! Worth more than their weight in gold, saffron crocus stigmata (Crocus sativus, Iridaceae) produce the carotenoid crocin – the compound that gives the "king of spices" its characteristic red color. The compound is also an antioxidant.