The genetic map of Artemisia annua L. identifies multiple loci affecting yield of the antimalarial drug artemisinin

Ian A. Graham, Katrin Besser, Susan Blumer, Caroline A. Branigan, Tomasz Czechowski, Luisa Elias, Inna Guterman, David Harvey, Peter G. Isaac, Awais M. Khan, Tony R. Larson, Yi Li, Tanya Pawson, Teresa Penfield, Anne M. Rae, Deborah A. Rathbone, Sonja Reid, Joe Ross, Margaret F. Smallwood, Vincent SeguraTheresa Townsend, Darshna Vyas, Thilo Winzer, Dianna Bowles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Artemisinin is a plant natural product produced by Artemisia annua and the active ingredient in the most effective treatment for malaria. Efforts to eradicate malaria are increasing demand for an affordable, high-quality, robust supply of artemisinin. We performed deep sequencing on the transcriptome of A. annua to identify genes and markers for fast-track breeding. Extensive genetic variation enabled us to build a detailed genetic map with nine linkage groups. Replicated field trials resulted in a quantitative trait loci (QTL) map that accounts for a significant amount of the variation in key traits controlling artemisinin yield. Enrichment for positive QTLs in parents of new high-yielding hybrids confirms that the knowledge and tools to convert A. annua into a robust crop are now available.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)328-331
Number of pages4
Issue number5963
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2010



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