Research Spotlight
Professor Jianwen Wang published a paper in Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology

Transcriptome responses involved in artemisinin production in Artemisia annua L. under UV-B radiation.
WS Pan, LP Zheng, H Tian, WY Li, J.W. Wang*.
Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology 140: 292-300 (IF2013=2.803)

Abstract: Artemisinin, an endoperoxide sesquiterpene lactone, is an effective antimalarial drug isolated from Artemisia annua L. In this study, a low dose (1.44 kJ m-2 d-1) of UV-B radiation (280–320 nm) for short-term (1 h per day for 10 days) was applied to A. annua seedlings to stimulate artemisinin production. UV-B treatment not only induced the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), enhanced peroxidase activity and endogenous content of abscisic acid (ABA), but stimulated the biosynthesis of artemisinin in the seedlings. Here, transcriptomic changes during UV-B radiation in A. annua were detected using an Agilent GeneChip with 43,692 probe sets. In total, 358 transcripts were identified as differentially expressed under UV-B stress, of which 172 transcripts increased and 186 transcripts decreased in abundance. In terms of biological processes, gene ontology (GO) terms including primary carbohydrate and nitrogen compound metabolic processes were enriched in UV-B-repressed genes. The up-regulated genes were enriched in response to stress, ROS generation, hormone (ethylene, ABA) stimulus and cell cycle control. The expression of key enzymes such as amorpha-4,11-diene synthase (ADS) and cytochrome P450 dependent monooxygenase/hydroxylase (CYP71AV1), and related WRKY transcription factors was up-regulated significantly for artemisinin biosynthesis. This profile of global gene expression patterns during UV-B stress will be valuable for further identification of the enzymes involved in artemisinin biosynthesis.

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