Enzyme Functional Evolution of Single Amino Acids in Beta Genus (Sugar Beet) Promotes Multiple Differential Specialized Enzymes
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Beta vulgaris (sugar beet) has been selectively cultivated for hundreds of years to produce traits such as increased sucrose production and more effective disease resistance. In order to cultivate sugar beets more effectively, the genetic basis of this genus must be understood. Volatiles produced from plant secondary metabolism are important for many types of ecological interactions, including defense responses. Salicylic acid (SA) and its volatile methyl ester, methyl salicylate (MeSA), play an important role in defense responses. The SABATH gene family is a family of methyltransferases (MTs), specifically salicylic acid methyltransferases (SAMT) that have been shown to have a high catalytic efficiency for salicylic acid. However, SAMTs can be involved in the formation of both MeSA and methyl benzoate (MeBA). The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that the target amino acid, histidine (H), tyrosine (Y) or methionine (M) before the conserved WLS, tryptophan (W), leucine (L), serine (S) sequence in the amino acid sequence, will determine what substrate SAMT will help facilitate the conversion of, via methylation. It was also hypothesized that because Beta vulgaris contained multiple copies of SAMT-like genes, which are SAMT-like duplicate genes characterized by possessing the same target amino acid before the WLS sequence, that each copy would exhibit specialization of substrate preference.
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