Artemisinin, found in Artemisia annua L., is the most effective treatment for malaria and other diseases. Unfortunately, A. annua does not produce enough artemisinin to treat the millions of malaria patients; therefore a better understanding of artemisinin biosynthesis is needed. Amorphadiene synthase and CYP71AV1 are the first two enzymes in the pathway, so a better understanding of their expression and regulation is important. In this study, shoots of A. annua were inoculated into rooting and shooting media and artemisinin levels and transcript levels of the two enzymes were measured. The results show that roots, or something associated with root development not only stimulated artemisinin production, but also increased the transcript levels of the ads and cyp71av1 genes.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Biology and Biotechnology