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Citronella (Cymbopogon winterianus) is one of the richest sources of high-value isoprenoid aromatic compounds used as flavour, fragrance, and therapeutic elements. These isoprenoid compounds are synthesized by 2 independent pathways: mevalonate pathway and 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway. Evidence suggests that 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA reductase (HMGR) is a rate-controlling enzyme for the synthesis of variety of isoprenoids. This study reports the isolation, characterization, and tissue-specific expression analysis of HMGR from citronella. The modelled HMGR is a class I type of HMGR enzyme with 3-domain architecture. The active site comprises a cofactor (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) and the substrate-binding motifs. The real-time and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction results revealed equal expression level in both leaf sheath and root tissue. The results from our study shall be a valuable resource for future molecular intervention to alter the metabolic flux towards improvement of key active ingredient in this important medicinal plant.
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