2012 Volume 35 Issue 6 Pages 824-832
Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) catalyze a wide variety of monooxygenation reactions in primary and secondary metabolism in plants. The share of P450 genes in each plant genome is estimated to be up to 1%. This implies that the diversification of P450 has made a significant contribution to the ability to acquire the emergence of new metabolic pathways during land plant evolution. The P450 families conserved universally in land plants contribute to their chemical defense mechanisms. Several P450s are involved in the biosynthesis and catabolism of plant hormones. Species-specific P450 families are essential for the biosynthetic pathways of phytochemicals such as terpenoids and alkaloids. Genome wide analysis of the gene clusters including P450 genes will provide a clue to defining the metabolic roles of orphan P450s. Metabolic engineering with plant P450s is an important technology for large-scale production of valuable phytochemicals such as medicines.