Cytochrome P450 Genes from the Sacred Lotus Genome

David R. Nelson, Mary A. Schuler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) in the sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) genome have been identified and named according to systematic P450 nomenclatures. Comparisons of these sequences with those in the papaya and grape CYPomes have indicated that gene blooms exist in the CYP89, CYP94, CYP96 and CYP714 families and that less dramatic expansions exist in the CYP71 and CYP72 families. Expansions in the CYP94 and CYP96 families may be associated with generation of the extremely hydrophobic leaf surfaces associated with the "lotus effect" in this water-adapted species, since these families are known to hydroxylate fatty acids and alkanes in the wax biosynthetic pathways of other plant species. Evolution of the CYP719 and CYP80 families may be associated with production of a number of benzylisoquinoline and aporphine alkaloids. Structures for anonaine and roemerine, two of the most abundant aporphine alkaloids in lotus leaves and seeds, contain methylenedioxy bridges that are known to be generated by members of the CYP719 family. With only one CYP719A22 gene existing in the lotus genome, it is likely that it is involved in making aporphine alkaloids. The fact that CYP719 has not previously been seen in angiosperm phylogeny below the order of Ranunculales suggests that its presence in lotus (in the Proteales) presents an evolutionary terminus prior to its loss in more recent eudicot species. With several CYP80 family genes existing in the lotus genome, there are multiple candidates for those involved in conducting benzylisoquinoline alkaloid synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)138-151
Number of pages14
JournalTropical Plant Biology
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • Cytochrome P450
  • Evolution
  • Methylenedioxy bridge
  • Nelumbo nucifera (sacred lotus) genome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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