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Mar. Drugs 2019, 17(1), 70; https://doi.org/10.3390/md17010070

Functional Characterization and Evolutionary Analysis of Glycine-Betaine Biosynthesis Pathway in Red Seaweed Pyropia yezoensis

1,2,3,†
,
1,3,†
,
1,3
,
1,3
,
1,3
and
1,3,*
1
Key Laboratory of Marine Genetics and Breeding (Ocean University of China) Ministry of Education, Qingdao 266003, China
2
Laboratory for Marine Biology and Biotechnology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao 266237, China
3
College of Marine Life Sciences, Ocean University of China, Qingdao 266003, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 15 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract

The red seaweed Pyropia yezoensis is an ideal research model for dissecting the molecular mechanisms underlying its robust acclimation to abiotic stresses in intertidal zones. Glycine betaine (GB) was an important osmolyte in maintaining osmotic balance and stabilizing the quaternary structure of complex proteins under abiotic stresses (drought, salinity, etc.) in plants, animals, and bacteria. However, the existence and possible functions of GB in Pyropia remain elusive. In this study, we observed the rapid accumulation of GB in desiccated Pyropia blades, identifying its essential roles in protecting Pyropia cells against severe osmotic stress. Based on the available genomic and transcriptomic information of Pyropia, we computationally identified genes encoding the three key enzymes in the GB biosynthesis pathway: phosphoethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PEAMT), choline dehydrogenase (CDH), and betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH). Pyropia had an extraordinarily expanded gene copy number of CDH (up to seven) compared to other red algae. Phylogeny analysis revealed that in addition to the one conservative CDH in red algae, the other six might have originated from early gene duplication events. In dehydration stress, multiple CDH paralogs and PEAMT genes were coordinating up-regulated and shunted metabolic flux into GB biosynthesis. An elaborate molecular mechanism might be involved in the transcriptional regulation of these genes. View Full-Text
Keywords: Pyropia yezoensis; desiccation; betaine; PEAMT; CDH; BADH Pyropia yezoensis; desiccation; betaine; PEAMT; CDH; BADH
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Mao, Y.; Chen, N.; Cao, M.; Chen, R.; Guan, X.; Wang, D. Functional Characterization and Evolutionary Analysis of Glycine-Betaine Biosynthesis Pathway in Red Seaweed Pyropia yezoensis. Mar. Drugs 2019, 17, 70.

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