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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A single gene for lycopene cyclase, phytoene synthase, and regulation of carotene biosynthesis in Phycomyces.

Previous complementation and mapping of mutations that change the usual yellow color of the Zygomycete Phycomyces blakesleeanus to white or red led to the definition of two structural genes for carotene biosynthesis. We have cloned one of these genes, carRA, by taking advantage of its close linkage to the other, carB, responsible for phytoene dehydrogenase. The sequences of the wild type and six mutants have been established, compared with sequences in other organisms, and correlated with the mutant phenotypes. The carRA and carB coding sequences are separated by 1,381 untranslated nucleotides and are divergently transcribed. Gene carRA contains separate domains for two enzymes, lycopene cyclase and phytoene synthase, and regulates the overall activity of the pathway and its response to physical and chemical stimuli from the environment. The lycopene cyclase domain of carRA derived from a duplication of a gene from a common ancestor of fungi and Brevibacterium linens; the phytoene synthase domain is similar to the phytoene and squalene synthases of many organisms; but the regulatory functions appear to be specific to Phycomyces.[1]


  1. A single gene for lycopene cyclase, phytoene synthase, and regulation of carotene biosynthesis in Phycomyces. Arrach, N., Fernández-Martín, R., Cerdá-Olmedo, E., Avalos, J. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2001) [Pubmed]
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