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Frontiers of Agriculture in China

ISSN 1673-7334

ISSN 1673-744X(Online)

CN 11-5729/S

Front Agric Chin    2011, Vol. 5 Issue (1) : 51-59     DOI: 10.1007/s11703-011-1065-7
Optimizing nitrogen levels combined with gibberellic acid for enhanced yield, photosynthetic attributes, enzyme activities, and artemisinin content of Artemisia annua
Plant Physiology Section, Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh- 202 002, India
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BoldItalic L. is an aromatic-antibacterial herb that destroys malarial parasites, lowers fever, and checks bleeding, and from which the secondary compound of interest is artemisinin. It has become increasingly popular as an effective and safe alternative therapy against malaria, and its derivatives are effective against multidrug resistant BoldItalic strains. Nitrogen is required by the plants in the largest quantity and is most limiting where biomass production is desired. On the other hand, gibberellic acid plays an important role in flowering, growth, and development and also in other physiological and biochemical processes. The feasibility of foliar GA3 (75 mg·L-1) alone or with varying levels of soil applied nitrogen (40, 80, and 120 mg·kg-1 soil) was tested on BoldItalic in the present study. The application of GA3 proved effective in alleviating the growth, photosynthesis, and enzyme activities of BoldItalic. However, N levels combined with GA3 showed better responses, and further improvement in these parameters was observed. Furthermore, the most important task we were interested in was to increase the artemisinin content and its yield on a per plant basis. The N combination (80 mg·kg-1 soil) together with GA3 augmented the content (21.8% more) and yield (55.8% more); this is true for both the treated plants, which were more than the control.

Keywords Artemisia annua L.      artemisinin      gibberellic acid      nitrogen      photosynthesis     
Corresponding Authors: AFTAB Tariq,   
Issue Date: 05 March 2011
URL:     OR
treatmentshoot length/cmshoot fresh weight/gshoot dry weight/gfresh leaf yield/gdry leaf yield/g
GA3 + N40138.2±1.21b557.3±8.29c221.8±3.28c344.3±5.43c139.2±2.67c
GA3 + N80145.3±1.36a624.2±8.78a247.2±3.53a379.4±5.87a159.6±3.18a
GA3 + N120142.5±1.14b601.4±6.73b236.6±3.01b371.2±5.66b153.3±3.01b
Tab.1  Effect of GA and different N doses on growth attributes of L.
Fig.1  Effect of GA and different N doses on net photosynthetic rate (a), stomatal conductance (b), internal CO (c), and total chlorophyll content (d) of L.
Note: Bars showing different letters are not significantly different at ≤0.05, as determined by Duncan’s multiple range test. Error bars (┬) show .
Fig.2  Effect of GA and different N doses on nitrate reductase activity (a), carbonic anhydrase activity (b), and leaf-N content (c) of L.
Note: Bars showing different letters are significantly different at ≤0.05, as determined by Duncan’s multiple range test. Error bars (┬) show .
Fig.3  Effect of GA and different N doses on artemisinin content (a) and artemisinin yield (b) of L.
Note: Bars showing different letters are not significantly different at ≤0.05 as determined by Duncan’s multiple range test. Error bars (┬) show .
Fig.4  HPLC chromatogram showing the peaks of the artemisinin in control plants (a) and GA+N-treated plants (b)
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