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Data from: Genome assembly of Chiococca alba uncovers key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of unusual terpenoids

Citation

Lau, Kin et al. (2020), Data from: Genome assembly of Chiococca alba uncovers key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of unusual terpenoids, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.00000000r

Abstract

Chiococca alba (L.) Hitchc. (snowberry), a member of the Rubiaceae, has been used as a folk remedy for a range of health issues including inflammation and rheumatism and produces a wealth of specialized metabolites including terpenes, alkaloids, and flavonoids. We generated a 558 Mb draft genome assembly for snowberry which encodes 28,707 high confidence genes. Comparative analyses with other angiosperm genomes revealed enrichment in snowberry of lineage-specific genes involved in specialized metabolism. Synteny between snowberry and Coffea canepehora Pierre ex A. Froehner (coffee) was evident, including the chromosomal region encoding caffeine biosynthesis in coffee, albeit syntelogs of N-methyltransferase were absent in snowberry. A total of 27 putative terpene synthase genes were identified, including 10 that encode diterpene synthases. Functional validation of a subset of putative terpene synthases revealed that combinations of diterpene synthases yielded access to products of both general and specialized metabolism. Specifically, we identified plausible intermediates in the biosynthesis of merilactone and ribenone, structurally unique antimicrobial diterpene natural products. Access to the C. alba genome will enable additional characterization of biosynthetic pathways responsible for health-promoting compounds in this medicinal species.

Funding

Michigan State University Strategic Partnership Grant