Trends in Biotechnology, vol. 30, issue 3 (2012) pp. 127-131
Plants display an immense diversity of specialized metabolites, many of which have been important to humanity as medicines, flavors, fragrances, pigments, insecticides and other fine chemicals. Apparently, much of the variation in plant specialized metabolism evolved through events of gene duplications followed by neo- or sub-functionalization. Most of the catalytic diversity of plant enzymes is unexplored since previous biochemical and genomics efforts have focused on a relatively small number of species. Interdisciplinary research in plant genomics, microbial engineering and synthetic biology provides an opportunity to accelerate the discovery of new enzymes. The massive identification, characterization and cataloguing of plant enzymes coupled with their deployment in metabolically optimized microbes provide a high-throughput functional genomics tool and a novel strain engineering pipeline. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
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