Computational genomic identification and functional reconstitution of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways

Nat Prod Rep. 2016 Aug 27;33(8):951-62. doi: 10.1039/c6np00035e. Epub 2016 Jun 20.


Covering: 2003 to 2016The last decade has seen the first major discoveries regarding the genomic basis of plant natural product biosynthetic pathways. Four key computationally driven strategies have been developed to identify such pathways, which make use of physical clustering, co-expression, evolutionary co-occurrence and epigenomic co-regulation of the genes involved in producing a plant natural product. Here, we discuss how these approaches can be used for the discovery of plant biosynthetic pathways encoded by both chromosomally clustered and non-clustered genes. Additionally, we will discuss opportunities to prioritize plant gene clusters for experimental characterization, and end with a forward-looking perspective on how synthetic biology technologies will allow effective functional reconstitution of candidate pathways using a variety of genetic systems.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products / metabolism*
  • Biosynthetic Pathways / genetics*
  • Computational Biology
  • Genomics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Multigene Family
  • Plants / chemistry*
  • Plants / metabolism
  • Synthetic Biology


  • Biological Products