Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 53–60 | Cite as

Enhancement of artemisinin content by constitutive expression of the HMG-CoA reductase gene in high-yielding strain of Artemisia annua L.

  • Tazyeen Nafis
  • Mohd. Akmal
  • Mauji Ram
  • Pravej Alam
  • Seema Ahlawat
  • Anis Mohd
  • Malik Zainul AbdinEmail author
Original Article


Artemisinin is effective against both chloroquine-resistant and -sensitive strains of Plasmodium species. However, the low yield of artemisinin from cultivated and wild plants is a serious limitation to the commercialization of this drug. Optimization of artemisinin yield either in vivo or in vitro is therefore highly desirable. To this end, we have overexpressed the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGR) gene (hmgr) from Catharanthus roseus L. in Artemisia annua L. and analyzed its influence on artemisinin content. PCR and Southern blot analyses revealed that the transgenic plants showed stable integration of the foreign hmgr gene. The reverse transcriptase-PCR results suggested that the hmgr was expressed at the transcriptional level in transgenic lines of Artemisia annua L., while the high-performance liquid chromatography analysis showed that artemisinin content was significantly increased in a number of the transgenic lines. Artemisinin content in one of the A. annua transgenic lines was 38.9% higher than that in non-transgenic plants, and HMGR enzyme activity in transgenic A. annua L. was also higher than that in the non-transgenic lines.


Artemisiaannua L. Genetic transformation RT-PCR HPLC Artemisinin 





3-Hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl coenzyme A reductase




Naphthaleneacetic acid


Nopaline opine synthase


Neomycin phosphotransferase


Shoot-induction selection medium


Squalene synthase



Tazyeen N. is highly grateful to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India, for the award of JRF and SRF fellowship for her Doctoral research.


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tazyeen Nafis
    • 1
  • Mohd. Akmal
    • 1
  • Mauji Ram
    • 1
  • Pravej Alam
    • 1
  • Seema Ahlawat
    • 1
  • Anis Mohd
    • 1
  • Malik Zainul Abdin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Transgenic Plant Development, Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of ScienceJamia HamdardNew DelhiIndia

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