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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The presence of phytol in the methanolic extract of P tenuiflorus, as identified from GC-MS analysis suggested the efficacy of crude extract in combating QS regulated virulence and biofilm formation in P aeruginosa PAO1 (27).
Cho, "Phytol induces apoptosis and ROS-mediated protective autophagy in human gastric adenocarcinoma AGS cells," Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry, vol.
Name of the compound RT Molecular formula number 1 Hexahydropyridine, l- 6.761 [C.sub.12][H.sub.17] methyl-4-[4,5- N[O.sub.2] dihydroxyphenyl]- 2 1-Octan amine 11.990 [C.sub.8][H.sub.19]N 3 1-Tetradecanamine 12.091 [C.sub.14][H.sub.31]N 4 Carane 16.317 [C.sub.10][H.sub.18] 5 Pentane-2,4-dione, 16.753 [C.sub.15][H.sub.22] 3-(l-adamantyl) [O.sub.2] 6 Phytol 18.990 [C.sub.20][H.sub.40]O S.
Aratani, "Constituents in marine algae-I: seasonal variation of sterol, hydrocarbon, fatty acid, and phytol fractions in Ulva pertusa," Bulletin of the Japanese Society of Scientific Fisheries, vol.
The best activities were observed for the three triterpenic acids and, from the essential oil, for geranylacetone, phytol, [alpha]-ionone and [beta]-ionone.
For an instant pick-me-up use half the drops of each oil, using one of rose phytol and two of rose absolute, add them to a tissue and inhale deeply several times.
"Carnivory in Pitcher Plants of the Genus Heliamphora (Sarraceniaceae)." New Phytol. (4): 733-744.
In our laboratory, we recently established that SLS patients are also deficient in the degradation of phytol (3,7,11,15-tetramethylhexadec-2-en-1-ol), a branched-chain fatty alcohol commonly found in nature as part of the chlorophyll molecule (7).
Emerging areas of interest include components like [beta]-ionone, phytol and gossypol, which may also prevent cancer.
Our experience with botanical extractions told us that a dichloromethane extraction and GC/MS analysis of the residue would show most of the common plant oils such as phytol and the literature indicated that the compounds diagnostic with cannabis (tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabicyclol) should also be apparent.
The results of current study showed the presence of phytol, eugenol, and [alpha]-terpineol in ethyl acetate extract.