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NCASD, Martin Lab Publish Carnivorous Plant Genome

Published on July 12, 2016 by

NCASD lab members Butts and Zhang, in collaboration with Alfredo Freites and the Martin lab (UCI Chemistry and MB&B) are pleased to announce two forthcoming papers on the genome of the Cape sundew (Drosera Capensis), a widely cultivated carnivorous plant.  The team’s sequencing of D. Capensis marks the first published genome in the family Caryophyllales, and the third carnivorous plant to be sequenced.  In their forthcoming work, Butts, Martin, and colleagues identify and model a large number of novel proteases from the Capensis genome, identifying promising targets for biotechnological applications such as the preparation of samples for mass spectrometry or attacking bacterial biofilms on sensitive medical devices.  The team has also identified a new “enzyme within an enzyme” with potential uses as an antifungal agent.  In the spirit of UCI’s growing commitment to convergnce science, this research fuses state-of-the-art computational methods (including structure prediction, docking, and molecular dynamics), methods adapted from social network analysis, and traditional genomic and biophysical techniques to move from genomic “source code” to useful biomolecules in a fraction of the time and cost of conventional approaches.  The team’s work is forthcoming at Proteins and the Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal.

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