The relevance of the homochirality of proteinogenic amino acids for life is undisputed, but also to their D-enantiomers a growing number of biological functions could be assigned. When it comes to D-amino acids in plants, information was relatively scarce for a long time. Nowadays, also in this field, knowledge is growing which will be presented and discussed in this review. In this respect, it was shown that D-amino acids are taken up by plants from soil but could also be synthesized de novo. Investigations of plant D-amino acid metabolism as well as other studies revealed a central function of D-Ala in plants, which await further elucidation. Also other D-amino acids are shown to cause physiological effects in plants, ranging from nitrogen utilization over stress adaptation to chloroplast division, and indicate that D-amino acids are responsible for a variety of yet poorly understood or even undiscovered functions in plants.
Part of the book: Amino Acid