, Volume 253, Issue 3, pp 857–871 | Cite as

Comparative analysis of transcription factor gene families from Papaver somniferum: identification of regulatory factors involved in benzylisoquinoline alkaloid biosynthesis

  • Parul Agarwal
  • Sumya Pathak
  • Deepika Lakhwani
  • Parul Gupta
  • Mehar Hasan Asif
  • Prabodh Kumar TrivediEmail author
Original Article


Opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.), known for biosynthesis of several therapeutically important benzylisoquinoline alkaloids (BIAs), has emerged as the premier organism to study plant alkaloid metabolism. The most prominent molecules produced in opium poppy include narcotic analgesic morphine, the cough suppressant codeine, the muscle relaxant papaverine and the anti-microbial agent sanguinarine and berberine. Despite several health benefits, biosynthesis of some of these molecules is very low due to tight temporal and spatial regulation of the genes committed to their biosynthesis. Transcription factors, one of the prime regulators of secondary plant product biosynthesis, might be involved in controlled biosynthesis of BIAs in P. somniferum. In this study, identification of members of different transcription factor gene families using transcriptome datasets of 10 cultivars of P. somniferum with distinct chemoprofile has been carried out. Analysis suggests that most represented transcription factor gene family in all the poppy cultivars is WRKY. Comparative transcriptome analysis revealed differential expression pattern of the members of a set of transcription factor gene families among 10 cultivars. Through analysis, two members of WRKY and one member of C3H gene family were identified as potential candidates which might regulate thebaine and papaverine biosynthesis, respectively, in poppy.


Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids Biosynthetic pathway Cultivars Papaver somniferum Transcription factors Transcriptome data 


P. somniferum

Papaver somniferum


Transcription factor


Benzylisoquinoline alkaloids


Codeinone reductase


Salutaridinol 7-O-acetyltransferase



The authors are thankful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, Govt. of India, for providing the financial support to carry out this work under Network project (BSC-107). SP and PG acknowledge Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, New Delhi, Govt. of India, for Senior Research Fellowships. PA is thankful to Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, for Senior Research Fellowship.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Author’s contribution statement

PA, SP, PG and PKT designed the research. PA and SP performed most of the experiments. DL, PG and MHA carried out the bioinformatics analysis. SP, PG and PKT wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and edited the article and approved the final manuscript.

Supplementary material

709_2015_848_MOESM1_ESM.pptx (1.6 mb)
Supplementary Figure 1 Expression pattern of singletons generated from combined assembly of selected TFs family members in ten different cultivars. Members of the (a) MYB, (b) NAC, (c) WRKY, (d), HB and (e) C3H family have been used for the analysis. (PPTX 1588 kb)
709_2015_848_MOESM2_ESM.docx (12 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 Oligonucleotide sequences used for expression analysis through qRT-PCR. (DOCX 12 kb)
709_2015_848_MOESM3_ESM.xlsx (312 kb)
Supplementary Table 2 BLAST analysis results of contigs generated through combined assembly of pap1 and BR086 cultivars annotated as transcription factors with log transformed values of transcripts per million and fold change in expression. (XLSX 312 kb)
709_2015_848_MOESM4_ESM.docx (12 kb)
Supplementary Table 3 Different metabolites as well as contigs and singletons generated from assembly of 10 different cultivars. (DOCX 11 kb)
709_2015_848_MOESM5_ESM.xlsx (5.3 mb)
Supplementary Table 4 BLAST analysis results of contigs generated through assembly of ten different cultivars annotated as transcription factors. (XLSX 5442 kb)
709_2015_848_MOESM6_ESM.xlsx (33 kb)
Supplementary Table 5 Total up-regulated and down-regulated transcription factors in pap1 compared to BR086. (XLSX 33 kb)
709_2015_848_MOESM7_ESM.xls (64 kb)
Supplementary Table 6 Contigs and their tpm values in transcriptomes of ten different cultivars showing homology to different transcription factor gene families. (XLS 64 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Parul Agarwal
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sumya Pathak
    • 1
  • Deepika Lakhwani
    • 1
    • 2
  • Parul Gupta
    • 1
  • Mehar Hasan Asif
    • 1
    • 2
  • Prabodh Kumar Trivedi
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.CSIR-National Botanical Research Institute (CSIR-NBRI)LucknowIndia
  2. 2.Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), Anusandhan BhawanNew DelhiIndia

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