Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Pamela J. Weathers, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Kristin K. Wobbe, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

José M. Argüello, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Reeta Prusty Rao, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Argelia Lorence, Committee Member




Artemisinin (AN), a sesquiterpene, derived from the herb, Artemisia annua is the most widely used anti-malarial compound. Current production is insufficient to meet the growing demand for this important drug. Many experiments have been done to try and deduce what factors may be important to increased yield. Here is is shown that many disparate phenomena known to induce AN production may be linked under the umbrella of reactive oxygen species (ROS). To that end, the metabolite and transcriptional changes associated with the transition from vegetative growth to flowering have been investigated. In addition, the role that exogenous sugars play in modulating these same factors has been explored in young seedlings. Lastly, exposure to DMSO was shown to increase AN production and that it may be linked to ROS. These combined results wered further explored to determine the effects of direct ROS elicitation and subsequent quenching on the production of AN and related metabolites. Information gained here supported a new alternative hypothesis for the role of ROS in AN production, one in which hydrogen peroxide may be controlling the balance of deoxyartemisinin (deoxyAN) and AN.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Biology & Biotechnology

Project Type


Date Accepted





artemisinin, sugars, metabolism, development, reactive oxygen s