The phenylpropanoids are a diverse family of organic compounds that are synthesized by plants from the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine. Their name is derived from the six-carbon, aromatic phenyl group and the three-carbon propene tail of cinnamic acid, which is synthesized from phenylalanine in the first step of phenylpropanoid biosynthesis. Phenylpropanoids are found throughout the plant kingdom, where they serve as essential components of a number of structural polymers, provide protection from ultraviolet light, defend against herbivores and pathogens, and mediate plant-pollinator interactions as floral pigments and scent compounds. Concentrations of phenylpropanoids within plants are also altered by changes in resource availability.
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