Inventors: Norman Lewis, Laurence Davin, and Hiroyuki Kasahara.
This disclosure descrbies a novel protein able to engender the reduction of aryl propenal side chain of aldehydes to generate the corresponding saturated aldehydes. The invention claims all related conversions utilizing a range of substrates from monomeric, dimeric to higher oligomeric substances known as phenylpropanoid matebolites. This is the first report of such a conversion in phenylpropanoid metabolism; the only distantly related transformation is in the reduction of enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase which has no similarity or degree of homology to this gene. This discovery has important practical ramifications ranging from the control of color and quality of woody plant species especially, but not limited to, the Pinaceae and other gymnosperms; however, comparable transformations are noted in the angiosperms. These substances are defense related compounds as well as important constituent in constituitive heartwood formation. The discovery claims the ability to modulate formation of heartwood and defense constituents in woody plants, which confer color, durability, texture and quality of both sapwood and heartwood.