The Information and Biomedical Intersection Team of Xi'an Jiaotong University (XJTU), headed by Professor Ye Kai, successfully constructed three high-quality genomes of the Papaver species, marking another major breakthrough in the field of medicinal plant genomics following the discovery of the morphinan and noscapine compound gene cluster in 2018.
The results were published online on October 15 in Nature Communications, a sub-journal of Nature, with the title "Three chromosome-scale Papaver genomes reveal punctuated patchwork evolution of the morphinan and noscapine biosynthesis pathway".
Ye from XJTU's School of Automation Science and Engineering is the corresponding author. Associate Professor Yang Xiaofei from the School of Computer Science and Technology, Gao Shenghan, a doctoral student of the School of Automation Science and Engineering, and Professor Guo Li of the School of Automation Science and Engineering are the co-first authors of the paper. The project was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
The team carefully selected three Papaver species with different yields of morphinan and noscapine, and used second and third-generation sequencing and assembly technologies to design and develop multi-species genomes, systematically elucidating the evolutionary history of the Papaver species.
Studies have shown that in the past nearly 8 million years, Papaver species have experienced genome-wide doubling, as well as gene rearrangement, duplication, and fusion jump events at different times, which together promoted the formation of gene clusters for the synthesis of morphinan and noscapine.
In addition, it was discovered that 15 genes in this gene cluster co-evolved and co-regulated to form metabolites, providing new ideas for synthetic biology research.
The construction of the multi-species genome of the Papaver genus and the interpretation of the evolutionary secrets of the path ways for the synthesis of secondary metabolites can greatly promote thein-depth development and research of the medicinal value of the genus plants, and have great guiding significance for the "green biological manufacturing" of medicinal secondary metabolites, as well as provide original solutions for modern science to interpret the mysteries of Chinese medicine.
Papaver is an important Chinese medicinal material. Its synthetic morphinan and noscapine substances have significant effects on alleviating cough and pain and combating cancer, and are widely used in clinical treatment.
The Information and Biomedical Intersection Team has been committed to bioinformatics research, aiming to build a multi-disciplinary research platform, cultivate inter disciplinary talents, and attempt to solve challenges facing China’s precision medicine and green bio-manufacturing sectors.
Link to the paper:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26330-8