Introduction to Inhibitors of Aromatic Amino Acid Biosynthesis


This lesson will detail the biochemical mechanisms that are affected by herbicides which inhibit a plant’s ability to synthesize amino acids. The significance of amino acids and proteins will also be described. The herbicide, glyphosate (i.e. Roundup), will be studied at length, including the advances made by biotechnology.


At the completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

1. Explain the importance of amino acid biosynthesis in plant growth and development.

2. Understand that amino acid biosynthesis depends on a sub-group of proteins called enzymes.

3. Describe how a class of herbicides can inhibit the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids.

4. Outline how plants can develop resistance to the herbicide family which inhibits the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids.

Copyright 2000

Development of this lesson was supported in part by Cooperative State Research, Education, & Extension Service, U.S. Dept of Agriculture under Agreement Number 98-EATP-1-0403 administered by Cornell University and the American Distance Education Consortium (ADEC). Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.