Transcription factors in relation to regulatory mechanisms of biosynthesis in opium poppy

Primárne karty

Transcription factors in relation to regulatory mechanisms of biosynthesis in opium poppy

Barbora Hans1 , Ema Balažová1 , Renáta Kubíková1 , Marek Obložinský1
1 Department of Cell and Molecular Biology of Drugs, Faculty of Pharmacy, Comenius University in Bratislava, Odbojárov 10, 832 32, Bratislava

Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L., Papaveraceae) belongs to the world's oldest and most prominent medicinal plants due to the production of therapeutically important secondary metabolites - benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIA). Opium – the dried latex obtained from unripe poppy capsules – is an irreplaceable source of morphine alkaloids. The role of these secondary metabolites in the plant organism is not yet fully understood, but their accumulation in target tissues is associated with the mechanism of the defense response to changes in the external and internal environment. A critical role in the control of the whole process in stress responses is played by the regulation of gene expression by transcription factors. Several of them have also been identified in Papaver somniferum L. and have been shown in other plants to be involved in the mechanisms of regulation of defense reactions. MYB has been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana L. as a positive regulator of the hypersensitive reaction, which is associated with the accumulation of secondary metabolites. In opium poppy, the WRKY proteins appear to be implemented in alkaloid biosynthesis by direct action on biosynthetic genes such as tyrosine decarboxylase. The study of transcription factors may be a tool to increase the production of morphine alkaloids in poppy. In this experiment, we simulate the defense reaction of plants by mechanical damage and monitor the change in the expression of genes encoding selected transcription factors and enzymes involved in the morphine biosynthesis in opium poppy plants using RT-qPCR analysis.


This work was supported by the Scientific Grant Agency VEGA 1/0101/23.


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