Cutin is one of two waxy polymers that are the main components of the plant cuticle, which covers all aerial surfaces of plants. The other major cuticle polymer is cutan, which is much more readily preserved in the fossil record. Cutin consists of omega hydroxy acids and their derivatives, which are interlinked via ester bonds, forming a polyester polymer of indeterminate size.
There are two major monomer families of cutin, the C16 and C18 families. The C16 family consists mainly of 16-hydroxy palmitic acid and 9,16- or 10,16-dihydroxypalmitic acid. The C18 family consists mainly of 18-hydroxy oleic acid, 9,10-epoxy-18-hydroxy stearic acid, and 9,10,18-trihydroxystearate.
- Briggs, D.E.G. (1999), "Molecular taphonomy of animal and plant cuticles: selective preservation and diagenesis" (PDF), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 354 (1379): 7–17, doi:10.1098/rstb.1999.0356, PMC 1692454[permanent dead link]
- Holloway, PJ (1982). "The chemical constitution of plant cutins". In Cutler, DF, Alvin, KL and Price, CE (1982) The Plant Cuticle. Academic Press London, pp 45–85.
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