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1.  Cytochromes P450 
There are 244 cytochrome P450 genes (and 28 pseudogenes) in the Arabidopsis genome. P450s thus form one of the largest gene families in plants. Contrary to what was initially thought, this family diversification results in very limited functional redundancy and seems to mirror the complexity of plant metabolism. P450s sometimes share less than 20% identity and catalyze extremely diverse reactions leading to the precursors of structural macromolecules such as lignin, cutin, suberin and sporopollenin, or are involved in biosynthesis or catabolism of all hormone and signaling molecules, of pigments, odorants, flavors, antioxidants, allelochemicals and defense compounds, and in the metabolism of xenobiotics. The mechanisms of gene duplication and diversification are getting better understood and together with co-expression data provide leads to functional characterization.
doi:10.1199/tab.0144
PMCID: PMC3268508  PMID: 22303269
2.  Cytochromes P450 
There are 272 cytochrome P450 genes (including 26 pseudogenes) in the Arabidopsis genome. P450s thus form one of the largest families of proteins in higher plants. This explosion of the P450 family is thought to have occurred via gene duplication and conversion, and to result from the need of sessile plants to adapt to a harsh environment and to protect themselves from pathogens and predators. P450s sometimes share less than 20% identity and catalyze extremely diverse reactions. Their biological functions range from the synthesis of structural macromolecules such as lignin, cutin or suberin, to the synthesis or catabolism of all types of hormone or signaling molecules, the synthesis of pigments and defense compounds, and to the metabolism of xenobiotics. In despite of a huge acceleration in our understanding of plant P450 functions in the recent years, the vast majority of these functions remain completely unknown.
doi:10.1199/tab.0028
PMCID: PMC3243372  PMID: 22303202

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