Melanogenesis is a complex multistep process of high molecular weight melanins production by hydroxylation and polymerization of polyphenols. Melanins have a wide range of applications other than being a sun - protection pigment. Melanogenesis pathway exists from prokaryotes to eukaryotes. It has evolved over years owing to the fact that the melanin pigment has different roles in diverse taxa of organisms. Melanin plays a pivotal role in the existence of certain bacteria and fungi whereas in higher organisms it is a measure of protection against the harmful radiation. We have done a detailed study on various pathways known for melanin synthesis across species. It was divulged that melanin production is not restricted to tyrosine but there are other secondary metabolites that synthesize melanin in lower organisms. Furthermore the phylogenetic study of these paths was done to understand their molecular and cellular development. It has revealed that the melanin synthesis paths have co-evolved in several groups of organisms. In this study, we also introduce a method for the comparative analysis of a metabolic pathway to study its evolution based on similarity between enzymatic reactions.
Singh, S., Malhotra, A. G., Pandey, A., & Pandey, K. M. (2013). Computational model for pathway reconstruction to unravel the evolutionary significance of melanin synthesis. Bioinformation, 9(2), 94–100. https://doi.org/10.6026/97320630009094