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Biomolecules. 2020 Feb 3;10(2). pii: E224. doi: 10.3390/biom10020224.

Metabolic and Proteomic Perspectives of Augmentation of Nutritional Contents and Plant Defense in Vigna unguiculata.

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Vegetable Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences / Guangdong Key Laboratory for New Technology Research of Vegetables, Guangzhou 510640, China.
State Key Laboratory for Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China.
School of Resource and Environmental Science, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, Hubei, China.
National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures Department of Physics Nanjing University 22 Hankou Road, Nanjing Jiangsu 210093, China.
National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement and National Center of Plant Gene Research, College of Life Science and Technology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, China.
Instituto de Farmacia, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja, Valdivia 5090000, Chile.


The current study enlists metabolites of Alstonia scholaris with bioactivities, and the most active compound, 3-(1-methylpyrrolidin-2-yl) pyridine, was selected against Macrophomina phaseolina. Appraisal of the Alstonia metabolites identified the 3-(1-methylpyrrolidin-2-yl) pyridine as a bioactive compound which elevated vitamins and nutritional contents of Vigna unguiculata up to ≥18%, and other physiological parameters up to 28.9%. The bioactive compound (0.1%) upregulated key defense genes, shifted defense metabolism from salicylic acid to jasmonic acid, and induced glucanase enzymes for improved defenses. The structural studies categorized four glucanase-isozymes under beta-glycanases falling in (Trans) glycosidases with TIM beta/alpha-barrel fold. The study determined key-protein factors (Q9SAJ4) for elevated nutritional contents, along with its structural and functional mechanisms, as well as interactions with other loci. The nicotine-docked Q9SAJ4 protein showed a 200% elevated activity and interacted with AT1G79550.2, AT1G12900.1, AT1G13440.1, AT3G04120.1, and AT3G26650.1 loci to ramp up the metabolic processes. Furthermore, the study emphasizes the physiological mechanism involved in the enrichment of the nutritional contents of V. unguiculata. Metabolic studies concluded that increased melibiose and glucose 6-phosphate contents, accompanied by reduced trehalose (-0.9-fold), with sugar drifts to downstream pyruvate biosynthesis and acetyl Co-A metabolism mainly triggered nutritional contents. Hydrogen bonding at residues G.357, G.380, and G.381 docked nicotine with Q9SAJ4 and transformed its bilobed structure for easy exposure toward substrate molecules. The current study augments the nutritional value of edible stuff and supports agriculture-based country economies.


Macrophomina phaseolina; chemical-protein docking; defense pathways; glucanase isozyme; nutrition metabolism; phosphoglycerate kinase 3; physicochemical analysis; plant protein modeling; protein active pockets; protein-protein interaction

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