MSUToday
Published: July 31, 2020

MSU scientists discover ancient enzymes evolve new tricks

Contact(s): Val Osowski College of Natural Science office: (517) 432-4561 osowskiv@msu.edu

Plants, herbivores and pathogens are locked in a war for survival that is hundreds of millions of years old. Rooted in place and with no way to run, plants evolved complex, chemical-producing machinery in their cells to defend against their ambulate adversaries.

In a paper recently published in the journal "eLife," Pengxiang Fan, MSU postdoctoral trainee studying biochemistry and genetics, and Robert Last, Barnett Rosenberg professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, reported the discovery of two ancient tomato enzymes recruited to play a crucial role in the ongoing evolutionary arms race.

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Pengxiang Fan, MSU postdoctoral trainee studying biochemistry and genetics