IUBMB Enzyme Nomenclature


Accepted name: 15-cis-phytoene desaturase

Reaction: 15-cis-phytoene + 2 plastoquinone = 9,15,9'-tricis-ζ-carotene + 2 plastoquinol (overall reaction)
(1a) 15-cis-phytoene + plastoquinone = 15,9'-dicis-phytofluene + plastoquinol
(1b) 15,9'-dicis-phytofluene + plastoquinone = 9,15,9'-tricis-ζ-carotene + plastoquinol

For diagram of reaction click here.

Other name(s): phytoene desaturase (ambiguous); PDS; plant-type phytoene desaturase

Systematic name: 15-cis-phytoene:plastoquinone oxidoreductase

Comments: This enzyme is involved in carotenoid biosynthesis in plants and cyanobacteria. The enzyme from Synechococcus can also use NAD+ and NADP+ as electron acceptor under anaerobic conditions. The enzyme from Gentiana lutea shows no activity with NAD+ or NADP+ [1].

Links to other databases: BRENDA, EXPASY, KEGG, Metacyc, PDB, CAS registry number:


1. Breitenbach, J., Zhu, C. and Sandmann, G. Bleaching herbicide norflurazon inhibits phytoene desaturase by competition with the cofactors. J. Agric. Food Chem. 49 (2001) 5270-5272. [PMID: 11714315]

2. Schneider, C., Boger, P. and Sandmann, G. Phytoene desaturase: heterologous expression in an active state, purification, and biochemical properties. Protein Expr. Purif. 10 (1997) 175-179. [PMID: 9226712]

3. Fraser, P.D., Linden, H. and Sandmann, G. Purification and reactivation of recombinant Synechococcus phytoene desaturase from an overexpressing strain of Escherichia coli. Biochem. J. 291 (1993) 687-692. [PMID: 8489496]

4. Breitenbach, J. and Sandmann, G. ζ-Carotene cis isomers as products and substrates in the plant poly-cis carotenoid biosynthetic pathway to lycopene. Planta 220 (2005) 785-793. [PMID: 15503129]

[EC created 2011]

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