Genome-enabled discovery of anthraquinone biosynthesis in Senna tora

Sang Ho Kang, Ramesh Prasad Pandey, Chang Muk Lee, Joon Soo Sim, Jin Tae Jeong, Beom Soon Choi, Myunghee Jung, Daniel Ginzburg, Kangmei Zhao, So Youn Won, Tae Jin Oh, Yeisoo Yu, Nam Hoon Kim, Ok Ran Lee, Tae Ho Lee, Puspalata Bashyal, Tae Su Kim, Woo Haeng Lee, Charles Hawkins, Chang Kug KimJung Sun Kim, Byoung Ohg Ahn, Seung Yon Rhee, Jae Kyung Sohng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Senna tora is a widely used medicinal plant. Its health benefits have been attributed to the large quantity of anthraquinones, but how they are made in plants remains a mystery. To identify the genes responsible for plant anthraquinone biosynthesis, we reveal the genome sequence of S. tora at the chromosome level with 526 Mb (96%) assembled into 13 chromosomes. Comparison among related plant species shows that a chalcone synthase-like (CHS-L) gene family has lineage-specifically and rapidly expanded in S. tora. Combining genomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, and biochemistry, we identify a CHS-L gene contributing to the biosynthesis of anthraquinones. The S. tora reference genome will accelerate the discovery of biologically active anthraquinone biosynthesis pathways in medicinal plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5875
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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