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biosynthetic pathway

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The production of the purple pigment anthocyanin in flowers is accomplished via a biosynthetic pathway. A biosynthetic pathway consists of a series of enzymatic reactions resulting in the creation of a final end product via several intermediate metabolites. An example of a biosynthetic pathway is shown below:

Substrate ----(white 1)----- Intermediate A------(white 2)----- Anthocyanin

A mutation in the gene WHITE 1 or WHITE 2 will result in the inability to produce anthocyanin and thus cause the flowers to be white. Suppose that WHITE 1 and WHITE 2 are the enzymes in the biochemical pathway for the synthesis of anthocyanin (W1 = functional enzyme 1; w1 = nonfunctional enzyme 1; W2 = functional enzyme 2; w2 = nonfunctional enzyme 2).

(a) Which molecule (substrate, intermediate A, or anthocyanin) is accumulated in a plant that has the genotype "w1w1"? What will be the color of the flowers?
(b) What molecule is accumulated in a plant that has the genotype "w2w2"? Whatwill be the color of the flowers?
(c) What molecule is accumulated in a plant with the genotype "W1w1;w2w2"? What is the color of the flowers
(d) If a W1W1w2w2 plant were crossed with a plant that is w1w1W2W2, what would be the genotype of the progeny? What will be the color of the flowers?

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Solution Preview

w1w1 means the plant carries both recessive genes for a non-functional enzyme, and thus will produce a non-functional enzyme that cannot catalyze the reaction from substrate to intermediate A. Thus, there will be a lot of substrate.

w2w2 means an expression of non-functional enzyme White 2 (since both are ...

Solution Summary

The biosynthetic pathway productions. Nonfunctional enzymes are determined.

See Also This Related BrainMass Solution

Biosynthetic Pathways in Mutations

You have isolated four different mutants unable to synthesize compound E required
for growth. You know that compounds A through D are involved in the biosynthetic
pathway that produces compound E, but you do not know the order in which they are
synthesized by a wild-type cell. You supplement the growth of each of the 4 mutants
with each compound and assay its ability to support growth. Using the data below,
construct a biochemical pathway indicating the order of the compounds and the step
where each mutation is acting. Explain how you arrived at the map.

Compound added
1 − − − − +
2 − + + + +
3 − − + + +
4 − − + − +

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