Special Issue "Plant Metabolic Engineering of High Value Bioactive Products"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Birger Lindberg Møller

Plant Biochemistry Laboratory and Center for Synthetic Biology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +45 20433411
Interests: plant synthetic biology; specialized metabolites; cyanogenic glucosides; diterpenoids; phenylpropanoids; biosynthetic complexes; metabolons
Guest Editor
Dr. Tomas Laursen

Center for Synthetic Biology, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Copenhagen, 1871 Frederiksberg C, Copenhagen, Denmark
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +45 51303999
Interests: plant synthetic biology; specialized metabolites; cyanogenic glucosides; biosynthetic complexes; metabolons; structure function relationship; single molecule microscopy and spectroscopy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Specialized metabolites in plants play a key role in the ability of plants to adapt to biotic and abiotic environmental stresses, and constitute a treasure trove of small molecules that are used by humans, e.g., to improve health and as condiments, pigments and low calorie natural sweeteners in foods. They are an integrated part of daily life. The approaches of synthetic biology may be used to widen the access to these valuable constituents by offering more direct and sustainable production systems. Development of contained production in green heterologous hosts like green algae, cyanobacteria and mosses requires detailed knowledge of the genes and enzymes involved in their formation, understanding of the organization of the enzymes in efficient metabolic modules to configure metabolic highways and development of technologies for environmental benign of isolation of the product formed. Monooxygenases and associated electron donating redox proteins are some of the key enzymes involved in obtaining the diversity of specialized metabolites in plants. Plants and other photosynthetic organisms have the unique ability to convert solar energy into reducing equivalents and to utilize carbon dioxide from the air as their sole carbon source. Improved photosynthesis and direct coupling of the reducing power of photosystem I to enzyme modules catalyzing formation of specialized metabolites would facilitate channeling of sunlight towards production of high value chemically complex compounds. The modular nature of the biosynthetic pathways provides an option to use a combinatorial approach to direct and optimize the production of known and new-to-nature compounds. Hence, synthetic biology is emerging as a novel approach to design and engineer biological modules with desired functional properties.

We cordially invite researchers working actively within these fields to submit their original research or review manuscripts to this Special Issue on “Plant Metabolic Engineering of High Value Bioactive Products”.

Prof. Birger Lindberg Møller
Dr. Tomas Laursen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Synthetic biology
  • Specialized metabolites
  • Biosynthetic modules
  • Isolation of enzyme complexes
  • Metabolic engineering
  • Metabolic highways
  • Pathway flux analyses
  • Storage and possible involvement of biomolecular condensates
  • Photosynthesis
  • Light harvesting complexes
  • Reaction centers
  • Environmental benign isolation procedures
  • Plants
  • Cyanobacteria
  • Algae
  • Moss
  • Cytochromes P450
  • Oxidoreductases

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Transcriptome-Wide Identification of an Aurone Glycosyltransferase with Glycosidase Activity from Ornithogalum saundersiae
Received: 29 May 2018 / Revised: 21 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
PDF Full-text (2481 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Aurone glycosides display a variety of biological activities. However, reports about glycosyltransferases (GTs) responsible for aurones glycosylation are limited. Here, the transcriptome-wide discovery and identification of an aurone glycosyltransferase with glycosidase activity is reported. Specifically, a complementary DNA (cDNA), designated as OsUGT1, was
[...] Read more.
Aurone glycosides display a variety of biological activities. However, reports about glycosyltransferases (GTs) responsible for aurones glycosylation are limited. Here, the transcriptome-wide discovery and identification of an aurone glycosyltransferase with glycosidase activity is reported. Specifically, a complementary DNA (cDNA), designated as OsUGT1, was isolated from the plant Ornithogalum saundersiae based on transcriptome mining. Conserved domain (CD)-search speculated OsUGT1 as a flavonoid GT. Phylogenetically, OsUGT1 is clustered as the same phylogenetic group with a putative 5,6-dihydroxyindoline-2-carboxylic acid (cyclo-DOPA) 5-O-glucosyltransferase, suggesting OsUGT1 may be an aurone glycosyltransferase. The purified OsUGT1 was therefore used as a biocatalyst to incubate with the representative aurone sulfuretin. In vitro enzymatic analyses showed that OsUGT1 was able to catalyze sulfuretin to form corresponding monoglycosides, suggesting OsUGT1 was indeed an aurone glycosyltransferase. OsUGT1 was observed to be a flavonoid GT, specific for flavonoid substrates. Moreover, OsUGT1 was demonstrated to display transglucosylation activity, transferring glucosyl group to sulfuretin via o-Nitrophenyl-β-d-glucopyranoside (oNP-β-Glc)-dependent fashion. In addition, OsUGT1-catalyzed hydrolysis was observed. This multifunctionality of OcUGT1 will broaden the application of OcUGT1 in glycosylation of aurones and other flavonoids. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Metabolic Engineering of High Value Bioactive Products)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Production of Plant Secondary Metabolites: Examples, Tips and Suggestions for Biotechnologists
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 12 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Plants are sessile organisms and, in order to defend themselves against exogenous (a)biotic constraints, they synthesize an array of secondary metabolites which have important physiological and ecological effects. Plant secondary metabolites can be classified into four major classes: terpenoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids and
[...] Read more.
Plants are sessile organisms and, in order to defend themselves against exogenous (a)biotic constraints, they synthesize an array of secondary metabolites which have important physiological and ecological effects. Plant secondary metabolites can be classified into four major classes: terpenoids, phenolic compounds, alkaloids and sulphur-containing compounds. These phytochemicals can be antimicrobial, act as attractants/repellents, or as deterrents against herbivores. The synthesis of such a rich variety of phytochemicals is also observed in undifferentiated plant cells under laboratory conditions and can be further induced with elicitors or by feeding precursors. In this review, we discuss the recent literature on the production of representatives of three plant secondary metabolite classes: artemisinin (a sesquiterpene), lignans (phenolic compounds) and caffeine (an alkaloid). Their respective production in well-known plants, i.e., Artemisia, Coffea arabica L., as well as neglected species, like the fibre-producing plant Urtica dioica L., will be surveyed. The production of artemisinin and caffeine in heterologous hosts will also be discussed. Additionally, metabolic engineering strategies to increase the bioactivity and stability of plant secondary metabolites will be surveyed, by focusing on glycosyltransferases (GTs). We end our review by proposing strategies to enhance the production of plant secondary metabolites in cell cultures by inducing cell wall modifications with chemicals/drugs, or with altered concentrations of the micronutrient boron and the quasi-essential element silicon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Metabolic Engineering of High Value Bioactive Products)
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