New open access article of the lab went online

Sánchez-Parra, B. et al., 2014 Plants
The article belongs to the Special Issue Auxin Signaling, Transport, and Metabolism 

Amidases [EC] capable of converting indole-3-acetamide (IAM) into the major plant growth hormone indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) are assumed to be involved in auxin de novo biosynthesis. With the emerging amount of genomics data, it was possible to identify over forty proteins with substantial homology to the already characterized amidases from Arabidopsis and tobacco. The observed high conservation of amidase-like proteins throughout the plant kingdom may suggest an important role of theses enzymes in plant development. Here, we report cloning and functional analysis of four, thus far, uncharacterized plant amidases from Oryza sativaSorghum bicolorMedicago truncatula, and Populus trichocarpa. Intriguingly, we were able to demonstrate that the examined amidases are also capable of converting phenyl-2-acetamide (PAM) into phenyl-2-acetic acid (PAA), an auxin endogenous to several plant species including Arabidopsis. Furthermore, we compared the subcellular localization of the enzymes to that of Arabidopsis AMI1, providing further evidence for similar enzymatic functions. Our results point to the presence of a presumably conserved pathway of auxin biosynthesis via IAM, as amidases, both of monocot, and dicot origins, were analyzed.