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Title: On the Evolution and Functional Diversity of Terpene Synthases in the Pinus Species: A Review
Authors: alicandri, enrica 
Paolacci, Anna Rita
Osadolor, Samson
Sorgonà, Agostino
Badiani, Maurizio
Ciaffi, Mario 
Issue Date: 2020
In the biosynthesis of terpenoids, the ample catalytic versatility of terpene synthases (TPS) allows the formation of thousands of different molecules. A steadily increasing number of sequenced plant genomes invariably show that the TPS gene family is medium to large in size, comprising from 30 to 100 functional members. In conifers, TPSs belonging to the gymnosperm-specific TPS-d subfamily produce a complex mixture of mono-, sesqui-, and diterpenoid specialized metabolites, which are found in volatile emissions and oleoresin secretions. Such substances are involved in the defence against pathogens and herbivores and can help to protect against abiotic stress. Oleoresin terpenoids can be also profitably used in a number of different fields, from traditional and modern medicine to fine chemicals, fragrances, and flavours, and, in the last years, in biorefinery too. In the present work, after summarizing the current views on the biosynthesis and biological functions of terpenoids, recent advances on the evolution and functional diversification of plant TPSs are reviewed, with a focus on gymnosperms. In such context, an extensive characterization and phylogeny of all the known TPSs from different Pinus species is reported, which, for such genus, can be seen as the first effort to explore the evolutionary history of the large family of TPS genes involved in specialized metabolism. Finally, an approach is described in which the phylogeny of TPSs in Pinus spp. has been exploited to isolate for the first time mono-TPS sequences from Pinus nigra subsp. laricio, an ecologically important endemic pine in the Mediterranean area.
ISSN: 0022-2844
DOI: 10.1007/s00239-020-09930-8
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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