YUCCA (YUCCA flavin-dependent monooxygenase) is one of the two enzymes of the main auxin biosynthesis pathway (tryptophan aminotransferase enzyme (TAA)/YUCCA) in land plants. The evolutionary origin of the YUCCA family is currently controversial: YUCCAs are assumed to have emerged via a horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from bacteria to the most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of land plants or to have inherited it from their ancestor, the charophyte algae. To refine YUCCA origin, we performed a phylogenetic analysis of the class B flavoprotein monooxygenases and comparative analysis of the sequences belonging to different families of this protein class. We distinguished a new protein family, named type IIb flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs), which comprises homologs of YUCCA from Rhodophyta, Chlorophyta, and Charophyta, land plant proteins, and FMO-E,-F, and-G of the bacterium Rhodococcus jostii RHA1. The type IIb FMOs differ considerably in the sites and domain composition from the other families of class B flavoprotein monooxygenases, YUCCAs included. The phylogenetic analysis also demonstrated that the type IIb FMO clade is not a sibling clade of YUCCAs. We have also identified the bacterial protein group named YUC-like FMOs as the closest to YUCCA homologs. Our results support the hypothesis of the emergence of YUCCA via HGT from bacteria to MRCA of land plants.
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