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Exploring the evolution of caffeine biosynthesis enzymes

Author(s): Shuchismita Dutta

RCSB Protein Data Bank, Rutgers University

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Caffeine is a very common stimulant consume worldwide as tea, coffee, mate, cocoa, and chocolate. Ever wondered why plants make caffeine? Do all caffeine producing plants have the same enzymes for caffeine biosynthesis?


Phylogenetics is the study of evolutionary relationships. Explore caffeine biosynthesis enzyme genes to learn more about to identify relationships between proteins withing the same and between different organisms. This lesson uses data from various bioinformatics resources, tools for sequence comparisons and the software programs called MEGA-X, which takes comparative genomic data and generates phylogenetic trees.  In addition, parts of the exercise also uses the software MAUVE to compare the genes of caffeine synthesizing enzymes from tea, coffee, and cocoa. The exercise, exercise key, and supporting files are submitted here.  


Materials were created as part of the GS-FMN in Fall 2019. 

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