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Cutin is one of two waxy polymers that are the main components of the plant cuticle, which covers all aerial surfaces of plants. It is an insoluble substance with waterproof quality. Cutin also harbors cuticular waxes, which assist in cuticle structure.[1] The other major cuticle polymer is cutan, which is much more readily preserved in the fossil record.[2] 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.[3]


  1. ^ Xu, Bo; Taylor, Lin; Pucker, Boas; Feng, Tao; Glover, Beverley J.; Brockington, Samuel F. (February 2021). "The land plant‐specific MIXTA‐MYB lineage is implicated in the early evolution of the plant cuticle and the colonization of land". New Phytologist. 229 (4): 2324–2338. doi:10.1111/nph.16997. ISSN 0028-646X.
  2. ^ Briggs, D.E.G. (1999), "Molecular taphonomy of animal and plant cuticles: selective preservation and diagenesis", Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 354 (1379): 7–17, doi:10.1098/rstb.1999.0356, PMC 1692454
  3. ^ 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.