Flavonoids, usually regarded as dispensable phytochemicals derived from plant secondary metabolism, play important roles in the biology of plants by affecting several developmental processes. Bioactive flavonoids also signal to microbes, serve as allelochemicals and are important nutraceuticals in the animal diet. Despite the significant progress made in identifying flavonoid pathway genes and regulators, little is currently known about the protein targets of flavonoids in plant or animal cells. Recently, there have been advances in our understanding of the roles that flavonoids play in developmental processes of plants. The multiple cellular roles of flavonoids can reflect their chemical diversity, or might suggest the existence of cellular targets shared between many of these seemingly disparate processes. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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