The fully revised and expanded fourth edition of Plant Biochemistry presents the latest science on the molecular mechanisms of plant life. The book not only covers the basic principles of plant biology, such as photosynthesis, primary and secondary metabolism, the function of phytohormones, plant genetics, and plant biotechnology, but it also addresses the various commercial applications of plant biochemistry. Plant biochemistry is not only an important field of basic science explaining the molecular function of a plant, but is also an applied science that is in the position to contribute to the solution of agricultural and pharmaceutical problems.

Plants are the source of important industrial raw material such as fat and starch but they are also the basis for the production of pharmaceutics. It is expected that in the future, gene technology will lead to the extensive use of plants as a means of producing sustainable raw material for industrial purposes. As such, the techniques and use of genetic engineering to improve crop plants and to provide sustainable raw materials for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are described in this edition. The latest research findings have been included, and areas of future research are identified.

Key Features

  • Offers the latest research findings in a concise and understandable manner.
  • Presents plant metabolism in the context of the structure and the function of plants.
  • Includes more than 300 two-color diagrams and metabolic schemes.
  • Covers the various commercial applications of plant biochemistry.
  • Provides extensive references to the recent scientific literature.


Faculty, graduate students and advanced undergraduates interested in plant sciences, especially plant physiology, plant pathology, and plant cell biology. Researchers in industries actively involved in agrobusiness and other biotechnology enterprises. Agronomists and researchers in crop science, agriculture, plant development, and related areas.

Table of Contents

1. A Leaf Cell Consists of Several Metabolic Compartments 2. The Use of Energy from Sunlight by Photosynthesis is the Basis of Life on Earth 3. Photosynthesis is an Electron Transport Process 4. ATP is Generated by Photosynthesis 5. Mitochondria are the Power Station of the Cell 6. The Calvin Cycle Catalyzes Photosynthetic CO2 Assimilation 7. In the Photorespiratory Pathway Phosphoglycolate Formed by the Oxygenase Activity of RubisCo is Recycled 9. Polysaccharides are Storage and Transport Forms of Carbohydrates Produced by Photosynthesis 10. Nitrate Assimilation is Essential for the Synthesis of Organic Matter 11. N2 Fixation Enables the Nitrogen in the Air to be Used for Plant Growth 12. Sulfate Assimilation Enables the Synthesis of Sulfur Containing Substances 14. Products of Nitrate Assimilation are Deposited in Plants as Storage Proteins 15. Glycerolipids are Membrane Constituents and Function as Carbon Stores 16. Secondary Metabolites Fulfil in Plants Specific Ecological Functions 18. Phenylpropanoids Comprise a Multitude of Plant Secondary Metabolites and Cell Wall Components 19. Multiple Signals Regulate the Growth and Development of Plant Organs and Enable Their Adaptation to Environmental Conditions. 20. A Plant Cell has Three Different Genomes 21 Protein Biosynthesis Occurs at Different Sites of a Cell 22. Gene Technology Makes it Possible to Alter Plants to Meet Requirements of Agriculture, Nutrition and Industry


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© 2011
Academic Press
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Praise for the third edition:

"Plant Biochemistry will be an invaluable resource for students, teachers and researchers looking for a clear, up to date presentation which covers the essentials without being overwhelmed by details. There are simple, easy to grasp illustrations throughout....I would highly recommend this book as a text in plant biochemistry, physiology and biotechnology courses. The book highlights examples on how an understanding of plant biochemistry is fundamental towards the applications of biotechnology, which are bringing about a revolution in agriculture." - Gerald Edwards, Washington State University

"This is a welcome addition to the sparsely populated topic of recent textbooks in plant biochemistry. It complements rather than unnecessarily duplicates the many fine general biochemistry volumes available...The contents are well organized and laid out with logical and informative section titles. The text is nicely illustrated and regularly gives a clear and easily understandable overview of complex subjects, as well as provides some additional detail...This book will be an excellent introduction and overview of plant biochemistry to anyone interested in the subject. It also provides a nice reference for students of pharmacy, nutrition, environmental sciences, and ecology, as well as general biology students. As such, it will be a good textbook for classes associated with these subjects."
- David Hildebrand, Agronomy, University of Kentucky in QUARTERLY REVIEW OF BIOLOGY

"The book Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology by Professor Hans Heldt is an outstanding text. The material is elegantly presented, with attention to molecular structures, intracellular compartmentation, and regulatory mechanisms controlling metabolism. Difficult topics are presented with incredible clarity and with a style that reflects many decades of cutting-edge research and effective teaching by the