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Benjamin R. Lichman
John Innes Centre
ChemistryIridoidBiochemistryStereochemistryBiology
23Publications
8H-index
343Citations
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Publications 24
Newest
#2Grant T. GoddenH-Index: 4
Last. Taliesin J KinserH-Index: 1
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Catnip or catmint (Nepeta spp.) is a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae) famed for its ability to attract cats. This phenomenon is caused by the compound nepetalactone, a volatile iridoid that also repels insects. Iridoids are present in many Lamiaceae species but were lost in the ancestor of the Nepetoideae, the subfamily containing Nepeta. Using comparative genomics, ancestral sequence reconstructions, and phylogenetic analyses, we probed the re-emergence of iridoid biosynthesis in ...
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#1Benjamin R. Lichman (Ebor: University of York)H-Index: 8
#2Grant T. Godden (Florida Museum of Natural History)H-Index: 4
Last. C R Buell (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 5
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Plants are reservoirs of extreme chemical diversity, yet biosynthetic pathways remain underexplored in the majority of taxa. Access to improved, inexpensive genomic and computational technologies has recently enhanced our understanding of plant specialized metabolism at the biochemical and evolutionary levels including the elucidation of pathways leading to key metabolites. Furthermore, these approaches have provided insights into the mechanisms of chemical evolution, including neofunctionalizat...
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#1Benjamin R. Lichman (Ebor: University of York)H-Index: 8
#2Sarah E. O'Connor (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 35
Last. Hajo Kries (Leibniz Association)H-Index: 4
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3 CitationsSource
#1Benjamin R. Lichman (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 8
#2Sarah E. O'Connor (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 35
Last. Hajo KriesH-Index: 4
view all 3 authors...
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#1Benjamin R. Lichman (Ebor: University of York)H-Index: 8
#2Mohamed O. Kamileen (Norwich Research Park)H-Index: 5
Last. Sarah E. O'Connor (Norwich Research Park)H-Index: 35
view all 7 authors...
Terpene synthases typically form complex molecular scaffolds by concerted activation and cyclization of linear starting materials in a single enzyme active site. Here we show that iridoid synthase, an atypical reductive terpene synthase, catalyzes the activation of its substrate 8-oxogeranial into a reactive enol intermediate, but does not catalyze the subsequent cyclization into nepetalactol. This discovery led us to identify a class of nepetalactol-related short-chain dehydrogenase enzymes (NE...
5 CitationsSource
Last. Sarah E. O'ConnorH-Index: 35
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#1Benjamin R. Lichman (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 8
#2Mohamed O. Kamileen (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 5
Last. Sarah E. O'Connor (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 35
view all 7 authors...
Terpene synthases typically form complex molecular scaffolds by concerted activation and cyclization of linear starting materials in a single enzyme active site. Here we show that iridoid synthase, an atypical reductive terpene synthase, catalyses the activation of its substrate 8-oxogeranial into a reactive enol intermediate but does not catalyse the subsequent cyclisation into nepetalactol. This discovery led us to identify a class of nepetalactol-related short-chain dehydrogenase enzymes (NEP...
2 CitationsSource
#1Benoît Boachon (Purdue University)H-Index: 3
#2C. Robin Buell (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 69
Last. Dongyan Zhao (MSU: Michigan State University)H-Index: 8
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Abstract The evolution of chemical complexity has been a major driver of plant diversification, with novel compounds serving as key innovations. The species-rich mint family (Lamiaceae) produces an enormous variety of compounds that act as attractants and defense molecules in nature and are used widely by humans as flavor additives, fragrances, and anti-herbivory agents. To elucidate the mechanisms by which such diversity evolved, we combined leaf transcriptome data from 48 Lamiaceae species and...
12 CitationsSource
#1Jianxiong Zhao (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 3
#2Benjamin R. Lichman (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 8
Last. Helen C. Hailes (UCL: University College London)H-Index: 29
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Chemoenzymatic reaction cascades can provide access to chiral compounds from low-cost starting materials in one pot. Here we describe one-pot asymmetric routes to tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids (THIAs) using the Pictet–Spenglerase norcoclaurine synthase (NCS) followed by a cyclisation, to give alkaloids with two new heterocyclic rings. These reactions operated with a high atom economy to generate THIAs in high yields.
6 CitationsSource
#1Nathaniel H. Sherden (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 5
#2Benjamin R. Lichman (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 8
Last. Sarah E. O'Connor (JIC: John Innes Centre)H-Index: 35
view all 7 authors...
Abstract Nepetalactones are iridoid monoterpenes with a broad range of biological activities produced by plants in the Nepeta genus. However, none of the genes for nepetalactone biosynthesis have been discovered. Here we report the transcriptomes of two Nepeta species, each with distinctive profiles of nepetalactone stereoisomers. As a starting point for investigation of nepetalactone biosynthesis in Nepeta , these transcriptomes were used to identify candidate genes for iridoid synthase homolog...
8 CitationsSource
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