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Does D-amino acids metabolism mirror evolutionary origins of plant cells and their adaptation to the environment?
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  • Guillaume Tcherkez,
  • Jaime Porras-Dominguez,
  • Jeremy Lothier,
  • Anis Limami
Guillaume Tcherkez
Australian National University Research School of Biology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Jaime Porras-Dominguez
Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences
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Jeremy Lothier
Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences
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Anis Limami
Institut de Recherche en Horticulture et Semences
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D-amino acids are the D stereoisomers of common L-amino acids found in proteins. In the past two decades, the occurrence of D-amino acids in plants has been reported and circumstantial evidence for a role in several processes has been provided, including the interaction with soil microorganisms or an interference with cellular signalling. However, examples are relatively scarce and D-amino acids can also be detrimental, some of them inhibiting growth and development. Thus, the persistence of a D-amino acid metabolism in plants is rather surprising and evolutive origins of D-amino acid metabolism is presently unclear. Systemic analysis of sequences associated with enzymes of D-amino acid metabolism shows that they are not simply inherited from cyanobacterial metabolism. In effect, the history of enzymes of plant D-amino acid metabolism likely involves several steps, cellular compartments, gene transfers and losses. Regardless of evolutive steps, enzymes of D-amino acid metabolism like D-amino acid transferases or racemases have been kept by higher plants and not simply eliminated, hence it is likely that they fulfil important metabolic roles, which can be illustrated with serine, tryptophan, and folate metabolism. We suggest that D-amino acid metabolism was perhaps crucial to support metabolic functions required during land plants evolution.
23 Jun 2023Submitted to Plant, Cell & Environment
23 Jun 2023Assigned to Editor
23 Jun 2023Submission Checks Completed
25 Jun 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
07 Jul 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
03 Sep 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
01 Nov 20231st Revision Received