Plants produce a very large number of specialized compounds that must be transported from their site of synthesis to the sites of storage or disposal. Anthocyanin accumulation has provided a powerful system to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms associated with the intracellular trafficking of phytochemicals. We recently showed (Poustka et al; 2007) that Arabidopsis anthocyanin are transported to the vacuole trough vesicle-like structures shared with components of the secretory pathway and in a Golgi-independent manner. We hypothesis that two mechanisms for anthocyanin cellular transport, one involving transporters and one involving vesicles, coexist in a plant cell or might be both part of a common trafficking pathway.
Moreover, evidences from the literature show that flavonoid final products or intermediates can act as signal molecule and alter cellular processes such as auxin transport, nodulation or pollen tube growth (Pourcel and Grotewold, 2008). One of the lab projects is to find molecular players induced or repressed by the presence of flavonoid in Arabidopsis cells, by an integrated approach of metabolic and transcriptomic profiling.