– In Vitro and In Situ Biomass and Artemisinin Production in Worm Wood (Artemisia Annua l. Var. Chiyong) –
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Artemisia annuahas been identified for its anti- malarial properties and millions of Nigerians are at high risk of being infected by the disease. Its propagation is hindered by shortage of seeds, germination problem and effective protocol forin vitro and in situ propagation.
The effect of some plant growth regulators (PGRs) on the in vitro regeneration of Artemisia annua using seed, leaf primordial, node explants and callus initiation were investigated in the Biotechnology Laboratory of the Department of Plant Science Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
Explants were surface sterilized and inoculated on Murashige&Skoog basal media supplemented with varying concentrations of plant growth regulators. Results of Analysis of Variance for the in vitro experiment indicated significant difference among the treatments (P<0.05).
In situ experiment was conducted on the farm of the Institute for Agricultural Research (IAR) ABU, Zaria. during the 2012 rainy season and 2013 dry season to determine the effect of some physical, chemical and hormone treatments as well as levels of organic and inorganic fertilizers on the growth, yield and artemisinin content in A. annua.
1.1 Background of the Study
Artemisia annua L (Wormwood) belongs to the family Asteraceae (Ferreira, and Janick, 2002), whichconsist of about 400 species (Bailey and Bailey, 1976; Bennett et al., 1982; McVaugh, 1984 El- haq et al., 1991; Klayman, 1993; Jaime and Da silver, 2003).
The family is characterized by extreme bitterness of all parts of the plant (Tripathi et al, 2000; Tripathi et al., 2001; Ferreira and Janick, 2009).
Artemisia annua is a new crop in Nigeria. Its propagation started in 2003 while artemisinin extraction commenced in 2005. As of August 2007, over 1,500 ha were prepared for planting with seeds from Brazil, China and local breeds (Anonymous, 2007; National Academics, 2007).
Cultivation of A. annua spread from China to Africa, mainly Kenya, Tanzania and Nigeria in response to the call by the World Health Organization for the use of Artemisinin-Combination Therapies (ACT). The most concentrated areas of Artemisia production are Asia, Europe, and USA and recently East Africa (Klayman, 1993).
However, global estimates for A. annua revealed a gradual increase in production area of 2,000 ha in 2003, 3000 ha in 2004, 9,500 ha in 2005, 26.000 ha in 2006, 14,500 ha in 2007, 4,500-5,000 ha in 2008, 6,000 ha in 2009, 15,000 ha in 2010, 17,500 ha in 2011 and 16,500 ha in 2012 (Artepal, 2008; Hiey, 2010; Ut, 2011).
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