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Article|01 Aug 2023|OPEN
Multiomics comparison among populations of three plant sources of Amomi Fructus
Xinlian Chen1,2 ,† , Shichao Sun2 ,† , Xiaoxu Han2 , Cheng Li2 , Fengjiao Wang2 , Bao Nie2 , Zhuangwei Hou2 , Song Yang2 , Jiaojiao Ji2 , Ge Li3 , Yanqian Wang3 , Xiaoyu Han1,2 , Jianjun Yue1,4 , Cui Li5 and Wei Li2 , Lixia Zhang3 , , Depo Yang1 , , Li Wang,2,6 ,
1School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, 510006 Guangzhou, China
2Shenzhen Branch, Guangdong Laboratory of Lingnan Modern Agriculture, Key Laboratory of Synthetic Biology, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Agricultural Genomics Institute at Shenzhen, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 518120 Shenzhen, China
3Yunnan Key Laboratory of Southern Medicine Utilization, Yunnan Branch Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, 666100 Jinghong, China
4School of Traditional Dai-Thai Medicine, West Yunnan University of Applied Sciences, 666100 Jinghong, China
5National Center for TCM Inheritance and Innovation, Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants, 530023 Nanning, China
6Kunpeng Institute of Modern Agriculture at Foshan, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 528200 Foshan, China
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,,
Both authors contributed equally to the study.

Horticulture Research 10,
Article number: uhad128 (2023)
Views: 250

Received: 28 Jan 2023
Accepted: 11 Jun 2023
Published online: 01 Aug 2023


Amomi Fructus (Sharen, AF) is a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) from three source species (or varieties), including Wurfbainia villosa var. villosa (WVV), W. villosa var. xanthioides (WVX), or W. longiligularis (WL). Among them, WVV has been transplanted from its top-geoherb region, Guangdong, to its current main production area, Yunnan, for >50 years in China. However, the genetic and transcriptomic differentiation among multiple AF source species (or varieties) and between the origin and transplanted populations of WVV is unknown. In our study, the observed overall higher expression of terpenoid biosynthesis genes in WVV than in WVX provided possible evidence for the better pharmacological effect of WVV. We also screened six candidate borneol dehydrogenases (BDHs) that potentially catalyzed borneol into camphor in WVV and functionally verified them. Highly expressed genes at the P2 stage of WVV, Wv05G1424 and Wv05G1438, were capable of catalyzing the formation of camphor from (+)-borneol, (−)-borneol and DL-isoborneol. Moreover, the BDH genes may experience independent evolution after acquiring the ancestral copies, and the following tandem duplications might account for the abundant camphor content in WVV. Furthermore, four populations of WVV, WVX, and WL are genetically differentiated, and the gene flow from WVX to WVV in Yunnan contributed to the greater genetic diversity in the introduced population (WVV-JH) than in its top-geoherb region (WVV-YC), which showed the lowest genetic diversity and might undergo genetic degradation. In addition, terpene synthesis (TPS) and BDH genes were selected among populations of multiple AF source species (or varieties) and between the top- and non-top-geoherb regions, which might explain the difference in metabolites between these populations. Our findings provide important guidance for the conservation, genetic improvement, and industrial development of the three source species (or varieties) and for identifying top-geoherbalism with molecular markers, and proper clinical application of AF.