Analysis of the Coptis chinensis genome reveals the diversification of protoberberine-type alkaloids

Yifei Liu, Bo Wang, Shaohua Shu, Zheng Li, Chi Song, Di Liu, Yan Niu, Jinxin Liu, Jingjing Zhang, Heping Liu, Zhigang Hu, Bisheng Huang, Xiuyu Liu, Wei Liu, Liping Jiang, Mohammad Murtaza Alami, Yuxin Zhou, Yutao Ma, Xiangxiang He, Yicheng YangTianyuan Zhang, Hui Hu, Michael S. Barker, Shilin Chen, Xuekui Wang, Jing Nie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Chinese goldthread (Coptis chinensis Franch.), a member of the Ranunculales, represents an important early-diverging eudicot lineage with diverse medicinal applications. Here, we present a high-quality chromosome-scale genome assembly and annotation of C. chinensis. Phylogenetic and comparative genomic analyses reveal the phylogenetic placement of this species and identify a single round of ancient whole-genome duplication (WGD) shared by the Ranunculaceae. We characterize genes involved in the biosynthesis of protoberberine-type alkaloids in C. chinensis. In particular, local genomic tandem duplications contribute to member amplification of a Ranunculales clade-specific gene family of the cytochrome P450 (CYP) 719. The functional versatility of a key CYP719 gene that encodes the (S)-canadine synthase enzyme involved in the berberine biosynthesis pathway may play critical roles in the diversification of other berberine-related alkaloids in C. chinensis. Our study provides insights into the genomic landscape of early-diverging eudicots and provides a valuable model genome for genetic and applied studies of Ranunculales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3276
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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