2Avinashilingam University for Women, Coimbatore 641043, India
3Department of Computer Engineering, Kyung Hee University, Seocheon, Giheung-gu Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do 449-701, South Korea
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received February 20, 2011; Revision received June 15, 2011
In plants heme containing cytochrome P450 (P450) is a superfamily of monooxygenases that catalyze the addition of one oxygen atom from O2 into a substrate, with a substantial reduction of the other atom to water. The function of P450 families is attributed to chemical defense mechanism under terrestrial environmental conditions; several are involved in secondary and hormone metabolism. However, the evolutionary relationships of P450 genes in Panax ginseng remain largely unknown. In the present study, data mining methods were implemented and 116 novel putative P450 genes were identified from Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) of a ginseng database. These genes were classified into four clans and 22 families by sequence similarity conducted at amino acid level. The representative putative P450 sequences of P. ginseng and known P450 family from other plants were used to construct a phylogenetic tree. By comparing with other genomes, we found that most of the P450 genes from P. ginseng can be found in other dicot species. Depending on P450 family functions, seven P450 genes were selected, and for that organ specific expression, abiotic, and biotic studies were performed by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Different genes were found to be expressed differently in different organs. Biotic stress and abiotic stress transcript level was regulated diversely, and upregulation of P450 genes indicated the involvement of certain genes under stress conditions. The upregulation of the P450 genes under methyl jasmonate and fungal stress justifies the involvement of specific genes in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. Our results provide a foundation for further elucidating the actual function and role of P450 involved in various biochemical pathways in P. ginseng.
KEY WORDS: abiotic, biotic, ESTs, gene expression, in silico, Panax ginseng, secondary metabolites