Catnip and pea aphid came up with different ways to make the same molecule

In a new study in PNAS, a research team at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, shows that both catnip and pea aphid produce the substance nepetalactone, even though the plant and the insect evolved the biosynthesis of this iridoid independently. Although the individual biosynthetic steps are identical, the enzymes that catalyze them are different in the plant and the aphid. This is the first time that researchers have been able to elucidate the biosynthetic pathway of such a complex molecule as nepetalactone in an animal.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft