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Open AccessArticle

Red and Blue Light Promote the Accumulation of Artemisinin in Artemisia annua L.

by Dong Zhang 1,2, Wei Sun 2, Yuhua Shi 1,2, Lan Wu 1,2, Tianyuan Zhang 2 and Li Xiang 1,2,*
1
Artemisinin Reserch Center, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
2
Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1329; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061329
Received: 27 April 2018 / Revised: 30 May 2018 / Accepted: 30 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Metabolites)
Artemisinin, which has been isolated from Artemisia annua L., is the most effective antimalarial drug and has saved millions of lives. In addition, artemisinin and its derivatives have anti-tumor, anti-parasitic, anti-fibrosis, and anti-arrhythmic properties, which enhances the demand for these compounds. Improving the content of artemisinin in A. annua is therefore becoming an increasing research interest, as the chemical synthesis of this metabolite is not viable. Ultraviolet B and C irradiation have been reported to improve the artemisinin content in A. annua, but they are harmful to plant growth and development. Therefore, we screened other light sources to examine if they could promote artemisinin content without affecting plant growth and development. We found that red and blue light could enhance artemisinin accumulation by promoting the expression of the genes that were involved in artemisinin biosynthesis, such as amorpha-4,11-diene synthase (ADS) and cytochrome P450 monooxygenase (CYP71AV1) genes. Thus, in addition to being the main light sources for photosynthesis, red and blue light play a key role in plant secondary metabolism, and optimizing the combination of these light might allow for the productionof artemisinin-rich A. annua. View Full-Text
Keywords: Artemisia annua; artemisinin; RNA sequencing (RNA-seq); light; secondary metabolism Artemisia annua; artemisinin; RNA sequencing (RNA-seq); light; secondary metabolism
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Zhang, D.; Sun, W.; Shi, Y.; Wu, L.; Zhang, T.; Xiang, L. Red and Blue Light Promote the Accumulation of Artemisinin in Artemisia annua L.. Molecules 2018, 23, 1329.

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