A Metabolomic Investigation of Radula complanata

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University of New Brunswick


Bibenzyls are a medicinally interesting class of specialized metabolites that are found throughout the plant kingdom. Liverworts (Phylum Marchantiophyta) are one of the most prolific producers of bibenzyls, specifically plants of the Radula genera, however the in planta function and biosynthesis of these metabolites has been largely unexplored. To investigate the role of these metabolites in planta, six prenylated bibenzyls were isolated from Radula complanata and their response to various phytohormones was investigated. The whole metabolic response was also explored through untargeted metabolomics to investigate larger metabolic shifts that were occurring. Unfortunately, due to the small size and slow growing nature of liverworts, harvesting these natural products directly from the plant is not feasible or sustainable. To address this, transcriptome mining was conducted to identify candidate genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway that could be expressed in heterologous systems for in vitro bibenzyl production.