Plants possess a family of potent fatty acid-derived wound-response and developmental regulators: the jasmonates. These compounds are derived from the tri-unsaturated fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (18:3) and, in plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana and tomato, 7(Z)-, 10(Z)-, and 13(Z)-hexadecatrienoic acid (16:3). The lipoxygenase-catalyzed addition of molecular oxygen to alpha-linolenic acid initiates jasmonate synthesis by providing a 13-hydroperoxide substrate for formation of an unstable allene oxide by allene oxide synthase (AOS). This allene oxide then undergoes enzyme-guided cyclization to produce 12-oxophytodienoic acid (OPDA). These first steps take place in plastids, but further OPDA metabolism occurs in peroxisomes. OPDA has several fates, including esterification into plastid lipids and transformation into the 12-carbon prohormone jasmonic acid (JA). JA is itself a substrate for further diverse modifications, including the production of jasmonoyl-isoleucine (JA-Ile), which is a major biologically active jasmonate among a growing number of jasmonate derivatives. Each new jasmonate family member that is discovered provides another key to understanding the fine control of gene expression in immune responses; in the initiation and maintenance of long-distance signal transfer in response to wounding; in the regulation of fertility; and in the turnover, inactivation, and sequestration of jasmonates, among other processes.