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(organic chemistry)
C20H40O A liquid with a boiling point of 202-204°C; soluble in organic solvents; used in the synthesis of vitamins E and K.



C20H40O, an acyclic monounsaturated diterpene alcohol. Phytol is a colorless liquid with a boiling point of 204°C (at 10 mm of mercury); it is optically active inasmuch as it contains three asymmetric carbon atoms. It is widely distributed in nature as a constituent of chlorophyll molecules in green plants and red algae, of vitamin E (α-tocopherol) and other tocopherols, and of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone).

Phytol may be obtained through the acid hydrolysis of chlorophylls (R. Willstätter, 1907) and through the action of the enzyme chlorophyllase on chlorophylls. A stereospecific synthesis of phytol was effected in 1959 by British chemists. In plant cells, the compound is synthesized from mevalonic acid.

The biological role of phytol consists in rendering more lipophilic the porphyrin and quinoid structures that participate in electron transfer within the cell. It is assumed that phytol residues in the photosynthetic units (quantasomes) of the chloroplasts are perpendicular to the plane of the porphyrin pigment and that the residues “adhere” to the insulating lipid layer that divides the monomolecular layers of chlorophyll (phytol-containing vitamins E and K1 also forming part of the photosynthetic units). Phytol serves as a growth stimulant in lactic acid bacteria.


Mayo, P. de. Terpenoidy. Moscow, 1963. (Translated from English.) Biokhimiia rastenii. Moscow, 1968. (Translated from English.)


References in periodicals archive ?
Reactions were performed at 37[degrees]C and initiated by the addition of 200 [micro]mol/L phytol (mixture of Z and E isomers; Merck) dissolved in dimethyl sulfoxide.
On analysis, we found a small quantity of phytenic acid in the phytol that was used as substrate (Fig.
50] < 20 [micro]g/m1), namely ursolic acid (UA), oleanolic acid (OA), betulinic acid (BA), geranyl acetone (GA), phytol (P), [alpha]-ionone ([alpha]-I) and [beta]-ionone ([beta]-I) may inhibit glycolysis because they have better [IC.
A previous report showed that phytol had antiplasmodial activity with [IC.
Also, sabinene, [alpha]-terpinolene, 1-tetradecanol, P-phellandrene, 4-terpineol, myrcene, camphene, 1otanol, linalool oxide, nonanal, 1,8-cineol, limonene, cis-thujanol, [beta]-pinene and phytol was higher without treated plants with foliar spraying.
39%) widdrol hydroxyether, phytol and 2-octadecoxyethanol were detected in percentages ranging from 1.
Proline as other compound, such as glutamine, glutathione and the phytol undergo changes in concentration and accumulate in the plant when the metabolic balance thereof is disturbed by the unfavorable environmental conditions (pollution, physiological stress, climatic factors).
2], diethyistilbestrol (DES), and tamoxifen (TAM); b) the xenoestrogens coumestrol (CM), methoxychlor (MXC), BPA, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP); c) the progestin medroxyprogesterone (MED); d) the glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX); and e) phytol (PHY), a precursor to a retinoid X and peroxisome proliferator-activating receptor agonist, to increase uterine weights and alter uterine morphology and hsp levels.
Strephonemataceae: The Venkateswarlu & Prakasa Rao (New Phytol.
on host regulation of the vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis-new phytol.
1999; Horne and McIntosh 2000), and phytanes, phytols, and sterols (Franco et al.