Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 558951
Title Drivers of metabolic diversification: how dynamic genomic neighbourhoods generate new biosynthetic pathways in the Brassicaceae
Author(s) Liu, Zhenhua; Suarez Duran, Hernando; Harnvanichvech, Yosapol; Stephenson, Michael J.; Schranz, M.E.; Nelson, David; Medema, M.H.; Osbourn, Anne
Source New Phytologist (2019). - ISSN 0028-646X
Department(s) Bioinformatics
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Abstract Plants produce an array of specialized metabolites with important ecological functions. The mechanisms underpinning the evolution of new biosynthetic pathways are not well‐understood. Here, we exploit available genome sequence resources to investigate triterpene biosynthesis across the Brassicaceae. Oxidosqualene cyclases (OSCs) catalyze the first committed step in triterpene biosynthesis. Systematic analysis of 13 sequenced Brassicaceae genomes was performed to identify all OSC genes. The genome neighbourhoods (GNs) around a total of 163 OSC genes were investigated to identify Pfam domains significantly enriched in these regions. All‐vs‐all comparisons of OSC neighbourhoods and phylogenomic analysis were used to investigate the sequence similarity and evolutionary relationships of the numerous candidate triterpene biosynthetic gene clusters (BGCs) observed. Functional analysis of three representative BGCs was carried out and their triterpene pathway products were elucidated. Our results indicate that plant genomes are remarkably plastic, and that dynamic GNs generate new biosynthetic pathways in different Brassicaceae lineages by shuffling the genes encoding a core palette of triterpene‐diversifying enzymes, presumably in response to strong environmental selection pressure. These results illuminate a genomic basis for diversification of plant‐specialized metabolism through natural combinatorics of enzyme families, which can be mimicked using synthetic biology to engineer diverse bioactive molecules.
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