Indexed on: 27 May '15Published on: 27 May '15Published in: Trends in Plant Science
In most plants, carbohydrates represent the major energy store as well as providing the building blocks for essential structural polymers. Although the major pathways for carbohydrate biosynthesis, degradation, and transport are well characterized, several key steps have only recently been discovered. In addition, several novel minor metabolic routes have been uncovered in the past few years. Here we review current studies of plant carbohydrate metabolism detailing the expanding compendium of functionally characterized transport proteins as well as our deeper comprehension of more minor and conditionally activated metabolic pathways. We additionally explore the pertinent questions that will allow us to enhance our understanding of the response of both major and minor carbohydrate fluxes to changing cellular circumstances.