Toni M. Kutchan, PhD, and Megan Augustin, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

Toni M. Kutchan, PhD
Toni M. Kutchan, PhD

Research in the Kutchan lab is aimed at elucidating the biosynthetic pathways of selected medicinal compounds in plants and developing improved sources of these chemicals. The lab investigates how plants make special chemicals called natural products. These chemicals frequently are used as medicines, either as pure compounds by pharmaceutical industry, or as mixtures in traditional medicines.



  1. Gesell, A., M. Rolf, J. Ziegler, M. L. Diaz Chavez, F. C. Huang and T. M. Kutchan (2009). "CYP719B1 is salutaridine synthase, the C-C phenol-coupling enzyme of morphine biosynthesis in opium poppy." J Biol Chem 284(36): 24432-24442.
  2. Díaz Chávez ML, Rolf M, Gesell A, Kutchan TM. Characterization of two methylenedioxy bridge-forming cytochrome P450-dependent enzymes of alkaloid formation in the Mexican prickly poppy Argemone mexicana. Arch Biochem Biophys. 2011 Mar 1;507(1):186-93. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 21094631.
  3. Kilgore, M. B., M. M. Augustin, C. M. Starks, M. O'Neil-Johnson, G. D. May, J. A. Crow and T. M. Kutchan (2014). "Cloning and characterization of a norbelladine 4'-O-methyltransferase involved in the biosynthesis of the Alzheimer's drug galanthamine in Narcissus sp. aff. pseudonarcissus." PLoS One 9(7): e103223.
  4. Kilgore, M. B., C. K. Holland, J. M. Jez and T. M. Kutchan (2016). "Identification of a Noroxomaritidine Reductase with Amaryllidaceae Alkaloid Biosynthesis Related Activities." J Biol Chem 291(32): 16740-16752.
  5. Augustin MM, Ruzicka DR, Shukla AK, et al. Elucidating steroid alkaloid biosynthesis in Veratrum californicum: production of verazine in Sf9 cells. Plant J. 2015;82(6):991–1003.
  6. Rosco A, Pauli HH, Priesner W, Kutchan TM. Cloning and heterologous expression of NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductases from the Papaveraceae. Arch Biochem Biophys. 1997 Dec 15;348(2):369-77. PubMed PMID: 9434750.