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Abstract Detail

Functional Genetics/Genomics

Takahashi, Gemma [1], Kelz, Jessica [2], Diessner, Elizabeth [2], Einstein, Elliott [2], Unhelkar, Megha [2], Kwok, Ashley [2], Sprague-Piercy, Marc [1], Woodcock, Sofiya [2], Pineda, Allison [2], Shabakesaz, Pauniz [2], Einstein, David [2], Garabedian, Alexandra [2], Akbari, Omar [2], Alemayhu, Aden [2], Martin, Rachel [2], Butts, Carter [3].

A Comparative mRNA Study of Enzyme Regulation During Digestive Behavior in Drosera capensis.

In the world of odd evolutionary adaptations, few are as biochemically fascinating as plant carnivory. It is believed that digestion in carnivorous plants evolved from defense mechanisms, as the enzymes responsible for both are regulated by the jasmonate signaling pathway. This dichotomy, as well as the inherent stress of having an external stomach, has led to the evolution of biochemically novel digestive enzymes. Agricultural, pharmaceutical, and other world markets may benefit from the discovery and characterization of these functionally versatile proteins. Proteases, for example, are protein-degrading enzymes whose remarkable specificity is useful in a number of research and medical settings. Their potential ranges from reproducing cleavage patterns for proteomics to breaking down neurodegenerative protein aggregates in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Similarly, chitinases find use as antifungals for their targeted degradation of chitin. Here, we identify proteases, chitinases, and other digestive enzymes whose transcripts are regulated by the jasmonate signaling pathway in Drosera capensis, the cape sundew. We performed a comparative study of the mRNA transcripts from two D. capensis groups: leaves treated with jasmonic acid, and leaves treated with a water control; as expected, addition of jasmonic acid triggered digestive behavior in each leaf, defined visually as a curling motion. Further, we matched differentially regulated transcripts with known proteins derived and characterized from our published D. capensis draft genome to infer both biological function and impact on metabolic pathways. The structural and functional novelty, as well as the potential utility of identified digestive enzymes will be discussed. This study has given us a first look at the full enzymatic landscape of digestive behavior in D. capensis and provides fodder for the necessary development of versatile biochemical tools.

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1 - University of California, Irvine, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, 3205 McGaugh Hall, Irvine, CA, 92697, United States
2 - University of California, Irvine, Chemistry, 1102 Natural Sciences 2, Irvine, CA, 92617, United States
3 - University of California, Irvine, Calit2, 4100 E Peltason Drive, Irvine, CA, 92617, United States

digestive enzymes
carnivorous plant
mRNA regulation
enzyme discovery
Drosera capensis.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Session: FG, Functional Genetics and Genomics
Location: /
Date: Monday, July 19th, 2021
Time: 10:15 AM(EDT)
Number: FG002
Abstract ID:1052
Candidate for Awards:None

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