Chromosome-level Alstonia scholaris genome unveils evolutionary insights into biosynthesis of monoterpenoid indole alkaloids


iScience. 2024 Mar 27;27(5):109599. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2024.109599. eCollection 2024 May 17.


Alstonia scholaris of the Apocynaceae family is a medicinal plant with a rich source of bioactive monoterpenoid indole alkaloids (MIAs), which possess anti-cancer activity like vinca alkaloids. To gain genomic insights into MIA biosynthesis, we assembled a high-quality chromosome-level genome for A. scholaris using nanopore and Hi-C data. The 444.95 Mb genome contained 35,488 protein-coding genes. A total of 20 chromosomes were assembled with a scaffold N50 of 21.75 Mb. The genome contained a cluster of strictosidine synthases and tryptophan decarboxylases with synteny to other species and a saccharide-terpene cluster involved in the monoterpenoid biosynthesis pathway of the MIA upstream pathway. The multi-omics data of A. scholaris provide a valuable resource for understanding the evolutionary origins of MIAs and for discovering biosynthetic pathways and synthetic biology efforts for producing pharmaceutically useful alkaloids.

PMID:38646178 | PMC:PMC11033161 | DOI:10.1016/j.isci.2024.109599