Transgenic Medicinal Plants for Improved Plant Metabolites Production

Sundararajan Balasubramani, Qiyang Chen, Zhiqin Zhou, Anil Kumar Moola, Saravanamoorthy Mutharasanallur Duraisamy, Palanisamy Prakash, Ekambaram Gayathiri, Lakkakula Satish, Mallappa Kumara Swamy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Some plant species are well known for their medicinal value. Several of them possess important bioactive chemical compounds belonging to various classes, such as paclitaxel, rosmarinic acid, betulinic acid, artemisinin, and ferulic acid, and exhibit anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, antioxidant, and anti-diabetic properties. Furthermore, these phytocompounds demonstrate health-supporting properties. Thus, there is a lot of commercial importance for these compounds. The increasing demand for these compounds has forced the utilisation of green biotechnology approaches for creating novels in vitro transgenic plant cell cultures as they produce maximum yield and are found to be safer. These transgenic methodologies are resourceful and cost-effective in obtaining valued plant compounds with medicinal importance. Asteraceae is one the largest flowering plant families and includes Artemisia as the major genus. In Asia, Europe, and North America, this fragrant annual herb grows in abundance. According to historical records, it is commonly known as sweet wormwood, annual wormwood, or qinghaosu and has been used in Chinese traditional medicine, since before 168 BC. A sesquiterpene lactone, artemisinin with antimalarial properties, was isolated from the plant in 1971. Sesquiterpenes may be improved by genetic engineering by suppressing the sterol-biosynthetic pathway. The use of RNAi, a genetic engineering strategy, is an effective alternative approach to increasing the bioactive content of plants. Recent research have shown that CRISPR/Cas9, the most advanced genome editing system, can be used to induce a targeted mutation, and enhance the biosynthesis of artemisinin. In this chapter, the progress made in improving secondary metabolites using biotechnological approaches is discussed. Further, the improvement of artemisinin content in Artemisia spp. by using a transgenic approach is summarised and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPhytochemical Genomics
Subtitle of host publicationPlant Metabolomics and Medicinal Plant Genomics
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9789811957796
ISBN (Print)9789811957789
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Agrobacterium
  • Artemisia
  • Biosynthesis
  • RNA
  • Secondary metabolites

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Medicine


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