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Plant Mol Biol. 1997 Jan;33(2):199-209.

State of the art of the production of the antimalarial compound artemisinin in plants.

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Laboratorium voor Farmaceutische Biotechnologie, Universiteit Gent, Belgium.

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  • Plant Mol Biol 1998 Dec;38(6):1271.


For more than three centuries we have relied on the extracts of the bark of Cinchona species to treat malaria. Now, it seems we may be changing to the leaves of a Chinese weed, Artemisia annua, and its active compound artemisinin. Artemisinin-derived drugs have been proved particularly effective treatments for severe malaria, even for multidrug-resistant malaria. However, this promising antimalarial compound remains expensive and is hardly available on a global scale. Therefore, many research groups have directed their investigations toward the enhancement of artemisinin production in A. annua cell cultures or whole plants in order to overproduce artemisinin or one of its precursors. This article provides a brief review of the state of art of the different aspects in A. annua research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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