Increases in leaf artemisinin concentration in Artemisia annua in response to the application of phosphorus and boron.
Malaria resurgence particularly in the third world is considerable and exacerbated by the development of multi-drug resistances to chemicals such as chloroquinone. Drug therapies, as recommended by WHO include the use of antimalarial compounds derived from Artemisia annua L, i.e. artemisinin-based therapies. This work aims to determine how A. annua plant dry matter can be enhanced while maximising artemisinin concentration from understanding the plant's mineral requirements for P and B. Experiments with differing of P, from 5 to 120 mg L(-1) and B from 0.1 to 0.9 mg L(-1) were undertaken. Mineral nutrients were supplied in irrigation water to potted plants and after a period of growth, dry matter production and leaf artemisinin concentration were determined. Increases in P application enhanced plant growth and total dry matter production. An optimal application rate, with respect to dry matter, was apparent around 30 mg P L(-1). Despite increases in P application having no influence on leaf artemisinin concentration, optimal yields of artemisinin, on a per plant basis, were again achieved at supply rate around 30-60 mg L(-1). Increasing B application rate had little influence on dry matter production despite increases in B leaf tissue concentration promoting the total amount of B per plant. Leaf artemisinin concentration significantly increased with B application rate up to 0.6 mg B L(-1). The higher artemisinin concentrations when multiplied by total leaf dry matter at the higher B application rates produced an increase in total artemisinin production per plant. There was however no further significant effect on leaf artemisinin concentration when B supply concentrations increased further (0.9 mg L(-1)). Artemisinin production varied between the two experiments to a greater extent than plant dry matter production and the reasons for this are discussed in relation to growing environments and their possible impacts on artemisinin biosynthesis.
Citation : Davies, M.J. et al. (2011) Increases in leaf artemisinin concentration in Artemisia annua in response to the application of phosphorus and boron. Industrial Crops and Products, 34 (3), pp. 1465-1473
ISSN : 0926-6690
Research Group : Chemistry for Health
Peer Reviewed : Yes
- Leicester School of Pharmacy