This study explored the role of hypermethylation of DNA in transformed hairy roots of Artemisia annua in diminishing production of artemisinin when maintained in culture for long periods. Two weeks following treatment with 5-azacytidine roots showed inhibited growth, but no change in artemisinin production. HPLC was used to analyze artemisinin content. DNA in treated showed reduced methylation compared to controls when compared through TLC and quantitated using spectroscopy. Analysis of the mitotic figures in the root tips indicated that 5-azacytidine inhibits growth by arresting cell division in metaphase, preventing elongation of the roots.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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Biology and Biotechnology