Vol. 7, Issue 2, Part A (2019)
Arsenic exposure modulates physiological attributes and artemisinin biosynthesis in Artemisia annua L.
Author(s): M Naeem, Tariq Aftab, Abid Ali Ansari, Asfia Shabbir, M Masroor A Khan and Moin Uddin
Abstract: Arsenic (As) is as noxious and toxic to medicinal plants as to all other plants. Artemisinin, extracted from the leaves of artemisia (Artemisia annua L.), is considered as a safe remedy against malaria. A randomized-design pot experiment was conducted with two varieties of A. annua, namely ‘CIM-Arogya’ and ‘Jeevan Raksha’, under As stress. Plants were exposed to increasing levels of soil-applied As (0, 15, 30 and 45 mg kg-1 soil) in order to impose As stress. All plant measurements were made on 90 and 120 days after planting (DAP) at pre-flowering and flowering stages, respectively. As per results, variety ‘CIM-Arogya’ was more As tolerant than the variety ‘Jeevan Raksha’. Irrespective of varieties, the peak As level (45 mg kg-1 soil) proved to be the most toxic one for A. annua plants. It significantly reduced the plant growth, rate of photosynthesis and leaf-chlorophyll content both at 90 and 120 DAP. It also significantly stimulated the activities of various antioxidant enzymes (CAT, POX and APX) at both the stages, indicating the As-mediated oxidative stress in A. annua plants. Interestingly, content as well as yield of artemisinin was significantly increased with increasing As levels regardless of varieties. At 45 mg of As kg-1 of soil, both varieties of A. annua registered the highest artemisinin values, increasing the artemisinin content of ‘CIM-Arogya’ by 38.0 and 42.6% and of ‘Jeevan Raksha’ by 32.6 and 35.7% at 90 and 120 DAP, respectively. Likewise, it increased the artemisinin yield of ‘CIM-Arogya’ by 42.9 and 45.7% and of ‘Jeevan Raksha’ by 37.5 and 40.5% at the corresponding stages. As stress increased the production of cellular H2O2 consistently regardless of the varieties used, representing the role of H2O2 in artemisinin biosynthesis in A. annua.
How to cite this article:
M Naeem, Tariq Aftab, Abid Ali Ansari, Asfia Shabbir, M Masroor A Khan and Moin Uddin. Arsenic exposure modulates physiological attributes and artemisinin biosynthesis in Artemisia annua L.. International Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2019; 7(2): 19-26.