Plant Genetic Resources

Short Communication

Screening a diverse collection of Artemisia annua germplasm accessions for the antimalarial compound, artemisinin

James Cockrama1 c1, Colin Hilla2, Corrinne Burnsa3, Randoph R. J. Arrooa3, Jack G. Woolleya3, Ian Flockarta4, Trevor Robinsona5, Christopher J. Atkinsona6, Michael J. Daviesa6, Nigel Dungeya7, Andy J. Greenlanda1, Lydia L. M. J. Smitha1 and Steven Bentleya1

a1 John Bingham Laboratory, National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), Huntington Road, Cambridge CB3 0LE, UK

a2 Extraction Technology Developments Ltd, 10 Myrtle Green, Ashford TN23 3QN, UK

a3 Natural Products Research, The School of Pharmacy, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK

a4 Botanical Developments Ltd, Benover Road, Yalding, Maidstone ME18 6ET, UK

a5 Frontier Agriculture Ltd, Witham St. Hughes, Lincoln LN6 9TN, UK

a6 East Malling Research, New Road, East, Malling ME19 6BJ, UK

a7 Humber VHB, Pharma Unit, Runcton Nursery, Chichester PO20 1LJ, UK

Abstract

The antimalarial drug artemisinin (ART) is commercially extracted from the medicinal plant Artemisia annua L. Here, we report the screening of 70 A. annua plants representing 14 diverse germplasm accessions sourced from around the world, and identify lines containing >2% ART. These extremely high-yielding individuals have been maintained as vegetative clones, and they represent promising germplasm resources for future A. annua breeding programmes.

(Received April 08 2012)

(Accepted May 24 2012)

(Online publication July 05 2012)

Correspondence:

c1 Corresponding author. E-mail: james.cockram@niab.com

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