Definition of phytoalexin in English:


Line breaks: phyto|alexin
Pronunciation: /ˌfʌɪtəʊəˈlɛksɪn


  • A substance that is produced by plant tissues in response to contact with a parasite and specifically inhibits the growth of that parasite.
    More example sentences
    • Plants produce phytoalexins as an immune response to physical, chemical, or biological damage.
    • During infection by fungal pathogens, plant cells respond by expressing a battery of disease response genes, which can result in the production of various toxic plant products, including active oxygen species and phytoalexins.
    • Plant resistance to specific pathogens is often correlated with increased production of phytoalexins, whereas inhibition or deficiency of phytoalexin production allows greater virulence.


1940s: from phyto- 'of plants' + alexin, a name for a class of substances found in blood serum, able to destroy bacteria.

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