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jasmonate Any of a group of organic compounds found in plants and thought to play a part in the plant's defensive response against attack by insects, fungi, and other pathogens. Jasmonates, principally jasmonic acid and methyl jasmonate, are synthesized from the unsaturated fatty acid linolenic acid and accumulate in injured parts of the plant. Here they activate genes encoding defensive proteins and promote the rapid build-up of phytoalexins. However, jasmonates are believed to modulate the action of many other genes as well, influencing processes ranging from seed germination to root development. They may represent another class of plant growth substances.