Biosynthesis of Coumarin and Herniarin in Lavender

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Science  21 Sep 1962:
Vol. 137, Issue 3534, pp. 977-978
DOI: 10.1126/science.137.3534.977


Coumarin and herniarin are formed in lavender from labeled o- and p-coumaric acids, respectively. At least part of the herniarin exists in lavender as a glycoside, presumably a 4-methoxycoumarinic acid glycoside, which yields free herniarin on hydrolysis. Biosynthesis of herniarin by successive para- and ortho- hydroxylation of cinnamic acid is indicated.