Date of Award

Winter 12-15-2015

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Biology & Biomedical Sciences (Plant & Microbial Biosciences)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Secondary metabolites are often restricted in their distribution to different groups of organisms. For this reason, attempts to study these often useful and interesting products of metabolism require an ability to work in a diversity of non-model species. Methods for gene discovery with low investment and high efficiency are needed to effectively identify the biosynthetic genes in these diverse pathways. During this work, a workflow for efficiently identifying biosynthetic genes was developed and applied to Amaryllidaceae alkaloid biosynthesis. Genes discovered during this work include a norbelladine 4’-O-methyltransferase, a cytochrome P450 capable of phenol-phenol coupling 4’-O-methylnorbelladine to noroxomaritidine, and a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase capable of forming norbelladine from tyramine and 3,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde. These enzymatic discoveries support the future application of this workflow to other biosynthetic pathways and organisms.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Toni M. Kutchan

Committee Members

Barbara Kunkel, Elizabeth Haswell, Jeffrey Henderson, Joseph Jez, Todd Mockler


Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K7S180RM