Chinese and English scientists decipher the opium poppy genome and morphine production

2018-10-17  []


Research reported by China Science Daily



On August 31, 2018 Beijing time, a team of Chinese and British scientists led by XJTU Professor Ye Kai published a paper in Science, in which the entire genome sequence of the opium poppy was first displayed in high-quality, and the mystery of morphine production was revealed.


The opium poppy is a special entity inducing mixed feelings of love and hate to humans. It has gorgeous flower, and the fruits can be used to produce chemicals with analgesic, antitussive and even anti-cancer effects. However, it is also known as the source of the drug morphine. The complicity of opium poppy lies in its molecules. A great number (about 70%) of repetitive sequences were found in its genome, while the trace of large-scale structural variations were also discovered in the genome, making the genome deciphering of opium poppy a world wide problem to scientists.


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