Development of Atropa belladonna L. Plants with High-Yield Hyoscyamine and without Its Derivatives Using the CRISPR/Cas9 System.


Zeng L(1), Zhang Q(1), Jiang C(1), Zheng Y(1), Zuo Y(1), Qin J(2), Liao Z(1)(2), Deng H(1)(2).
Author information:
(1)Chongqing Key Laboratory of Plant Resource Conservation and Germplasm Innovation, SWU-TAAHC Medicinal Plant Joint R&D Centre, School of Life Sciences, Southwest University, Chongqing 400715, China.
(2)Chongqing Academy of Science and Technology, Chongqing 401123, China.


Atropa belladonna L. is one of the most important herbal plants that produces hyoscyamine or atropine, and it also produces anisodamine and scopolamine. However, the in planta hyoscyamine content is very low, and it is difficult and expensive to independently separate hyoscyamine from the tropane alkaloids in A. belladonna. Therefore, it is vital to develop A. belladonna plants with high yields of hyoscyamine, and without anisodamine and scopolamine. In this study, we generated A. belladonna plants without anisodamine and scopolamine, via the CRISPR/Cas9-based disruption of hyoscyamine 6β-hydroxylase (AbH6H), for the first time. Hyoscyamine production was significantly elevated, while neither anisodamine nor scopolamine were produced, in the A. belladonna plants with homozygous mutations in AbH6H. In summary, new varieties of A. belladonna with high yields of hyoscyamine and without anisodamine and scopolamine have great potential applicability in producing hyoscyamine at a low cost.