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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Oct 25;113(43):12328-12333. Epub 2016 Oct 10.

Microbial-type terpene synthase genes occur widely in nonseed land plants, but not in seed plants.

Author information

1
Graduate School of Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.
2
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996; College of Life Sciences, Shaanxi Normal University, Xian 710062, China.
3
Department of Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, D-07745 Jena, Germany.
4
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996; Tea Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Hangzhou 310008, China.
5
Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996.
6
Department of Plant Biology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale IL 62901.
7
School of Biological Sciences, Monash University, Melbourne, VIC 3800, Australia.
8
Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831.
9
Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, Beishan Industrial Zone, Yantian District, Shenzhen 518083, China.
10
Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
11
Systematic Biology, Uppsala University, 752 36 Uppsala, Sweden.
12
Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
13
Plant Genomics Program, New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458.
14
Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, Beishan Industrial Zone, Yantian District, Shenzhen 518083, China; Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G 2E9, Canada; Department of Medicine, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB T6G 2E1, Canada.
15
Graduate School of Genome Science and Technology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996; Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996; fengc@utk.edu.

Abstract

The vast abundance of terpene natural products in nature is due to enzymes known as terpene synthases (TPSs) that convert acyclic prenyl diphosphate precursors into a multitude of cyclic and acyclic carbon skeletons. Yet the evolution of TPSs is not well understood at higher levels of classification. Microbial TPSs from bacteria and fungi are only distantly related to typical plant TPSs, whereas genes similar to microbial TPS genes have been recently identified in the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii The goal of this study was to investigate the distribution, evolution, and biochemical functions of microbial terpene synthase-like (MTPSL) genes in other plants. By analyzing the transcriptomes of 1,103 plant species ranging from green algae to flowering plants, putative MTPSL genes were identified predominantly from nonseed plants, including liverworts, mosses, hornworts, lycophytes, and monilophytes. Directed searching for MTPSL genes in the sequenced genomes of a wide range of seed plants confirmed their general absence in this group. Among themselves, MTPSL proteins from nonseed plants form four major groups, with two of these more closely related to bacterial TPSs and the other two to fungal TPSs. Two of the four groups contain a canonical aspartate-rich "DDxxD" motif. The third group has a "DDxxxD" motif, and the fourth group has only the first two "DD" conserved in this motif. Upon heterologous expression, representative members from each of the four groups displayed diverse catalytic functions as monoterpene and sesquiterpene synthases, suggesting these are important for terpene formation in nonseed plants.

KEYWORDS:

gene evolution; nonseed plant; specialized metabolism; terpene synthase

PMID:
27791023
PMCID:
PMC5087002
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1607973113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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