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+ Examining a morphine-free poppy

Examining a morphine-free poppy

CSIRO Plant Industries, in collaboration with Tasmanian Alkaloids, have isolated a small set of genes in morphine-free poppies which behave differently to those in standard morphine-producing poppies.

Norman, the morphine-free poppy produces large amounts of thebaine and oripavine, compounds preferred by the pharmaceutical industry in the production high-value pain-killers. The isolated genes are associated with blocking the production of morphine whilst enhancing the plant's ability to produce these compounds. This understanding will help in the developming poppies capable of producing larger yields of these valuable compounds.

Photographer : David McClenaghan

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Examining a morphine-free poppy
Examining a morphine-free poppy

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