Megan M. Augustin

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Reconstructing the origin and evolution of land plants and their algal relatives is a fundamental problem in plant phylogenetics, and is essential for understanding how critical adaptations arose, including the embryo, vascular tissue, seeds, and flowers. Despite advances in molecular systematics, some hypotheses of relationships remain weakly resolved.(More)
Galanthamine is an Amaryllidaceae alkaloid used to treat the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. This compound is primarily isolated from daffodil (Narcissus spp.), snowdrop (Galanthus spp.), and summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum). Despite its importance as a medicine, no genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of galanthamine have been identified. This(More)
Steroid alkaloids have been shown to elicit a wide range of pharmacological effects that include anticancer and antifungal activities. Understanding the biosynthesis of these molecules is essential to bioengineering for sustainable production. Herein, we investigate the biosynthetic pathway to cyclopamine, a steroid alkaloid that shows promising(More)
The Amaryllidaceae alkaloids are a family of amino acid derived alkaloids with many biological activities; examples include haemanthamine, haemanthidine, galanthamine, lycorine, and maritidine. Central to the biosynthesis of the majority of these alkaloids is a C-C phenol-coupling reaction that can have para-para', para-ortho', or ortho-para'(More)
Economically feasible systems for heterologous production of complex secondary metabolites originating from difficult to cultivate species are in demand since Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae are not always suitable for expression of plant and animal genes. An emerging oilseed crop, Camelina sativa, has recently been engineered to produce novel(More)
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