Increasing yield of anti-malarial medicine through fast track plant breeding

The medicinal plant Artemisia annua is the primary source of the leading antimalarial, artemisinin. However the yield of the drug is very low making it expensive and unprofitable to produce.

Our academic founder CNAP, increased the yield of artemisinin by applying a treatment that increases genetic diversity to A. annua seed. Using high-throughput genetic and phenotypic tests to select individual plants with increased levels of the drug, they developed genetic markers to fast-track breed high-yield hybrids.

The new varieties will be supplied for cultivation in Africa, India and China helping malarial nations contribute to their own national health issues.

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