Translational analysis of the secondary metabolism
The project group of Dr. Takayuki Tohge focuses on functional characterization of genes involved in plant secondary metabolism, especially polyphenolic pathways in Arabidopsis, tomato, tobacco, maize and rice based on translational analysis using omics studies. In particular he focuses on the elucidation of chemical diversity and regulatory roles in plant secondary metabolism in order to enable genome wide modeling of biosynthetic framework based cross-species comparison for metabolic engineering.
Functional gene annotation by translational analysis based on refinement of plant secondary metabolic framework
Secondary metabolites having several bioactivities such as resistant factor against several environmental stresses in plants as well as health beneficial compounds to human, are widely diversified in their chemical structures in nature, since plants have adapted to the environmental niches during the long evolutionary period using several strategies such as gene duplication and convergent evolution of some key genes contributing to the evolution of the secondary metabolism. In the current situation after completion of full-genome sequencing for over 100 plant species with availability of huge bio- and data-resources (knockout mutants, introgression lines, relative wild accessions, GWAS, microarray and RNAseq data..etc), elucidation of definite biosynthetic framework needs to be applied for integrative approaches being used to aid understanding of whole metabolic pathway structure and regulation including their tissue specific manner. We screen therefore qualitative difference of metabolite level between tissues and accessions for “refinement of biosynthetic framework” based on prediction of gene expression level derived from metabolite data. We are currently performing secondary metabolite profile using several tissue types of wild accessions and introgression lines of Arabidopsis and tomato in order to find novel key genes involved in accession/tissue specific metabolism.