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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (1): 211-230    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62555-4
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Role of flavonoids in plant interactions with the environment and against human pathogens - A review
Muhammad Khalid1, Saeed-ur-Rahman1, Muhammad Bilal2, HUANG Dan-feng1   
1 School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, P.R.China
2 School of Life Science and Food Engineering, Huaiyin Institute of Technology, Huai’an 223003, P.R.China
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Flavonoids are widely-distributed polyphenolic secondary metabolites with diverse biological activities in plants and benefit human health as protective dietary agents.  They participate in plants’ responses to harsh environmental conditions and effectively regulate the cell differentiation and growth.  In plants, the majority of their functions are attributed to their strong antioxidative properties.  Similarly, dietary flavonoids protect the human body against free radicals which are associated with the development of cancer and atherosclerosis.  Plants rich in polyphenols have been used to cure various diseases because of their antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anticancer properties.  This review summarizes the up-to-date research trends and development on flavonoids and its derivatives, working mechanisms and potential functions and applications particularly in relation to plant protection and human health.  Towards the end, notable concluding remarks with a close-up look at the future research directions have also been presented briefly.
Keywords:  flavonoids        structure and composition        biological activity       plant protection        human health        antimicrobial  
Received: 25 May 2018   Accepted: 02 January 2019
Fund: This research was supported by the National High-Tech R&D Program of China (863 Program, 2013AA103000) and the earmarked fund for Shanghai Modern Leaf Vegetable Industry Technology Research System, China (201802).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence HUANG Dan-feng, E-mail:    

Cite this article: 

Muhammad Khalid, Saeed-ur-Rahman, Muhammad Bilal, HUANG Dan-feng. 2019. Role of flavonoids in plant interactions with the environment and against human pathogens - A review. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(1): 211-230.

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