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Convergent evolution leading to the appearance of furanocoumarins in citrus plants

Limones-Mendez M., Dugrand-Judek A., Villard C., Coqueret V., Froelicher Y., Bourgaud F., Olry A., Hehn A.. 2020. Plant Science, 292 : 9 p..

Furanocoumarins are defense molecules mainly described in four plant families that are phylogenetically distant. Molecular characterization of the biosynthetic pathway has been started for many years in Apiaceae and Rutaceae. The results obtained thus far in Apiaceae indicated a major role of cytochromes P450 (P450s) in the CYP71 family. In the present work, we describe the importance of another subfamily of P450s, CYP82D, identified by using a deep analysis of the citrus (Rutaceae) genome and microarray database. CYP82D64 is able to hydroxylate xanthotoxin to generate 5-OH-xanthotoxin. Minor and limited amino acid changes in the CYP82D64 coding sequence between Citrus paradisi and Citrus hystrix provide the enzyme in the latter with the ability to hydroxylate herniarin, but with low efficiency. The kinetic constants of the enzyme are consistent with those of other enzymes of this type in plants and indicate that it may be the physiological substrate. The activity of the enzyme is identical to that of CYP71AZ6 identified in parsnip, showing possible evolutionary convergence between these two families of plants. It is highly possible that these molecules are derived from the synthesis of ubiquitous coumarins throughout the plant kingdom.

Thématique : Génétique et amélioration des plantes; Physiologie et biochimie végétales

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