Successful chromosome-scale genome sequencing of the herbal drug “licorice”
December 20, 2022
Elucidation of gene clusters that make up medicinal ingredients
A joint research group of the RIKEN CSRS, Kazusa DNA Research Institute, Chiba University, Osaka University, and the National Institute of Genetics has determined the chromosome-scale high-quality genome sequence of licorice from the Leguminosae family, used as an important ingredient in Oriental herbal medicine and natural sweeteners.
Licorice has many medicinal properties, including anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and cough-relieving effects. In addition, glycyrrhizin, a major ingredient contained in roots, is in increasing demand worldwide as a raw material for pharmaceuticals and natural sweeteners. It was expected that if the high-quality genome sequence of licorice could be determined, efficient breeding based on genomic information would be possible.
In this study, the joint research group succeeded in sequencing the chromosome-scale high-quality genome of Chinese licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis) using state-of-the-art sequencing technology. They confirmed that enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of glycyrrhizin and other compounds of medicinal value are localized in a narrow region of the chromosome.
The results of this study are expected to be useful for breeding licorice using biotechnology and improving the production of medicinal components.
- Original article
- DNA Research doi:10.1093/dnares/dsac043
- A. Rai, H. Hirakawa, M. Rai, Y. Shimizu, K. Shirasawa, S. Kikuchi, H. Seki, M. Yamazaki, A. Toyoda, S. Isobe, T. Muranaka, K. Saito,
- "Chromosome-scale genome assembly of Glycyrrhiza uralensis revealed metabolic gene cluster centered specialized metabolites biosynthesis".
- Kazuki Saito; Group Director
Amit Rai; Research Scientist
Metabolomics Research Group