Review

Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

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Science  17 Oct 2014:
Vol. 346, Issue 6207, 1245993
DOI: 10.1126/science.1245993

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  • Disease-resistant and insect-resistant transgenic crops and essential amino acids
    • Qiuyun Liu, Professor, Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory of Improved Variety Reproduction in Aquatic Economic Animals, Sun Yat-sen University
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jingli Peng, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Li Xu, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Min Fu, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Lichao Pan, student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Kaibei Lu, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
      • Danzhen Wangjie, Student, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China

    Leucine residue lacks γ methyl group, thus devoid of the σ-σ hyperconjugation in beta carbon. The side group lacks strong van der Waals interactions with the carbonyl group of leucine, resulting in the weak secondary chemical bonding between the carbonyl oxygen and cations, which is corroborated by the σ22 element of the tensor for the deprotonated carboxyl group and short bond lengths of the carbonyl carbon with the carbonyl oxygen (1). Peptides rich in leucine do not attenuate active peptides or protein fragments due to the poor cation binding of leucines unable to cancel anion functions mediated by basic amino acids nearby. As a result, introduction of limited leucine residues into relevant proteins may be beneficial in plant genetic engineering with pathogen- and insect-defensive components.
    The single gamma methyl group in isoleucine leads to hyperconjugation supported by bond length data (2), and the side group interacts with the carbonyl group via van der Waals interactions contributing to proton affinity of the carbonyl oxygen (1). Introduction of isoleucine residues into crop proteins could be somewhat carcinogenic as it helps the buildup of protons and local formation of HCl (3-4).
    Valine residues possess two gamma methyl groups, attendant hyperconjugation and van der Waals interactions between its side group and carbonyl group, thus resulting in strong cation bonding with carbonyl oxygen. High valine content can enhance the generation of insoluble an...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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