Enhanced artemisinin production by cell cultures of Artemisia annua

Order of Publishing in Issue: 
Volume :2
Issue :2
March, 2008
Page No: 
Ashish Baldi* 1 and V.K. Dixit 2
1 Department of Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110016, India
2 Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. H.S. Gour University, Sagar (M.P.) 470003, India

Artemisinin, an endoperoxide containing sesquiterpene lactone from Artemisia annua, hasproven very effective in treating drug resistant cases of malaria and cancer. To counter thepresent low content in leaves and uneconomical chemical synthesis, alternate ways to produceartemisinin have been sought. Inspite of extensive work in this area, artemisinin remainselusive in dedifferentiated and differentiated cultures of A. annua. This work reports the firstsuccessful approach for production of artemisinin by cell cultures of A. annua cultures of Indianvariety of A. annua. Various precursors of terpenoid biosynthesis by isoprenoid pathwaywere incorporated to study their influence on artemisinin biosynthesis. Artemisinin contentwas maximally increased by 2.0 times, in comparison to control, when mevalonic acid (50mg/L) was added as precursor. Various biotic and abiotic elicitors were also tested at differentconcentration. A maximum increase of 3.47 times in artemisinin accumulation was attained whenmethyl jasmonate (5 mg/L) was added. Based on these results, an integrated bioprocess forproductivity enhancement of artemisinin was developed. A maximum artemisininaccumulation of 96.8 mg/L artemisinin was produced on supplementation of mevalonic acidand methyl jasmonate as selected precursor and elicitor respectively, which was 4.79 times higherin productivity than control callus cultures (20.2 mg/L).

Artemisinin, Artemisia annua, Hairy roots, Agrobacterium rhizogenes
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