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Keywords:

  • floridoside;
  • D-isofloridoside;
  • L-isofloridoside;
  • Porphyra;
  • seasonality

For three decades, hypotheses relating to the occurrence and function of cyclic nucleotides in higher plants have been highly controversial. Although cyclic nucleotides had been shown to have key regulatory roles in animals and bacteria, investigations with higher plants in the 1970s and early 1980s were criticized on the basis of (i) a lack of specificity of effects apparently elicited by cyclic nucleotides, (ii) the equivocal identification of putative endogenous cyclic nucleotides and (iii) ambiguity in the identification of enzymes connected with cyclic nucleotide. More recent evidence based on more rigorous identification procedures has demonstrated conclusively the presence of cyclic nucleotides, nucleotidyl cyclases and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases in higher plants, and has identified plant processes subject to regulation by cyclic nucleotides. Here we review the history of the debate, the recent evidence establishing the presence of these compounds and their role; future research objectives are discussed.