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Chembiochem. 2019 Jan 2;20(1):83-87. doi: 10.1002/cbic.201800592. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Gene Discovery in Gelsemium Highlights Conserved Gene Clusters in Monoterpene Indole Alkaloid Biosynthesis.

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Department of Biological Chemistry, John Innes Centre, Colney Lane, Norwich, NR4 7UH, UK.
Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, 48824, USA.


Genome mining is a routine technique in microbes for discovering biosynthetic pathways. In plants, however, genomic information is not commonly used to identify novel biosynthesis genes. Here, we present the genome of the medicinal plant and oxindole monoterpene indole alkaloid (MIA) producer Gelsemium sempervirens (Gelsemiaceae). A gene cluster from Catharanthus roseus, which is utilized at least six enzymatic steps downstream from the last common intermediate shared between the two plant alkaloid types, is found in G. sempervirens, although the corresponding enzymes act on entirely different substrates. This study provides insights into the common genomic context of MIA pathways and is an important milestone in the further elucidation of the Gelsemium oxindole alkaloid pathway.


Gelsemium sempervirens; biosynthesis; monoterpene indole alkaloid; strictosidine; synteny


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