Coniferyl alcohol
Coniferyl alcohol is an organic compound
Organic compound
An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the...

. This colourless crystalline solid is a phytochemical
Phytochemicals are biologically active chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants . Phytochemicals are the molecules responsible for the color and organoleptic properties . For example, the deep purple color of blueberries and the smell of garlic...

, one of the monolignol
Monolignols are phytochemicals acting as source materials for biosynthesis of both lignans and lignin. The starting material for production of monolignols is the amino acid phenylalanine. The first reactions in the biosynthesis are shared with the phenylpropanoid pathway, and monolignols are...

s. It is synthethized via the phenylpropanoid
The phenylpropanoids are a diverse family of organic compounds that are synthesized by plants from the amino acid phenylalanine. Their name is derived from the six-carbon, aromatic phenyl group and the three-carbon propene tail of cinnamic acid, which is synthesized from phenylalanine in the first...

 biochemical pathway. When copolymerized with related aromatic compounds, coniferyl alcohol forms lignin
Lignin or lignen is a complex chemical compound most commonly derived from wood, and an integral part of the secondary cell walls of plants and some algae. The term was introduced in 1819 by de Candolle and is derived from the Latin word lignum, meaning wood...

 or lignan
The lignans are a group of chemical compounds found in plants. Lignans are one of the major classes of phytoestrogens, which are estrogen-like chemicals and also act as antioxidants. The other classes of phytoestrogens are the isoflavones and coumestans...

s. Coniferin
Coniferin is a glucoside of coniferyl alcohol. This white crystalline solid is a metabolite in conifers, serving as an intermediate in cell wall lignification, as well as having other biological roles....

 is a glucoside of coniferyl alcohol.

Coniferyl alcohol is an intermediate in biosynthesis
Biosynthesis is an enzyme-catalyzed process in cells of living organisms by which substrates are converted to more complex products. The biosynthesis process often consists of several enzymatic steps in which the product of one step is used as substrate in the following step...

 of eugenol
Eugenol is a phenylpropene, an allyl chain-substituted guaiacol. Eugenol is a member of the phenylpropanoids class of chemical compounds. It is a clear to pale yellow oily liquid extracted from certain essential oils especially from clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon, basil and bay leaf. It is slightly...

 and of stilbenoids and coumarin
Coumarin is a fragrant chemical compound in the benzopyrone chemical class, found in many plants, notably in high concentration in the tonka bean , vanilla grass , sweet woodruff , mullein , sweet grass , cassia cinnamon and sweet clover...

. Gum benzoin contains significant amount of coniferyl alcohol and its ester
Esters are chemical compounds derived by reacting an oxoacid with a hydroxyl compound such as an alcohol or phenol. Esters are usually derived from an inorganic acid or organic acid in which at least one -OH group is replaced by an -O-alkyl group, and most commonly from carboxylic acids and...


It is found in both gymnosperm
The gymnosperms are a group of seed-bearing plants that includes conifers, cycads, Ginkgo, and Gnetales. The term "gymnosperm" comes from the Greek word gymnospermos , meaning "naked seeds", after the unenclosed condition of their seeds...

 and angiosperm plants. Sinapyl alcohol
Sinapyl alcohol
Sinapyl alcohol is an organic compound derived from cinnamic acid. This phytochemical is one of the monolignols. It is biosynthetized via the phenylpropanoid biochemical pathway, its immediate precursor being sinapaldehyde. Sinapyl alcohol is a precursor to lignin or lignans. It is also a...

 and paracoumaryl alcohol
Paracoumaryl alcohol
Paracoumaryl alcohol, also called p-coumaryl alcohol, 4-coumaryl alcohol, 4-hydroxycinnamyl alcohol, or 4-phenol, is a phytochemical, one of the monolignols. It is synthesized via the phenylpropanoid biochemical pathway...

, the other two lignin monomers, are found in angiosperm plants and grasses.

It is a queen retinue pheromone
Queen retinue pheromone
Queen retinue pheromones are a type of honey bee pheromones. The following compounds have also been identified, of which only coniferyl alcohol is found in the mandibular glands. The combination of the 5 QMP compounds and the 4 compounds below is called the Queen Retinue Pheromone...

(QRP), a type of honey bee pheromone found in the mandibular glands.
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