Biological Engineering


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0 Q&A 533 Views Jul 20, 2023

The sesquiterpene lactone compound artemisinin is a natural medicinal product of commercial importance. This Artemisia annua–derived secondary metabolite is well known for its antimalarial activity and has been studied in several other biological assays. However, the major shortcoming in its production and commercialization is its low accumulation in the native plant. Moreover, the chemical synthesis of artemisinin is difficult and expensive due to its complex structure. Hence, an alternative and sustainable production system of artemisinin in a heterologous host is required. Previously, heterologous production of artemisinin was achieved by Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. However, this requires extensive bioengineering of modified Nicotiana plants. Recently, a technique involving direct in vivo assembly of multiple DNA fragments in the moss, P. patens, has been successfully established. We utilized this technique to engineer artemisinin biosynthetic pathway genes into the moss, and artemisinin was obtained without further modifications with high initial production. Here, we provide protocols for establishing moss culture accumulating artemisinin, including culture preparation, transformation method, and compound detection via HS-SPME, UPLC-MRM-MS, and LC-QTOF-MS. The bioengineering of moss opens up a more sustainable, cost effective, and scalable platform not only in artemisinin production but also other high-value specialized metabolites in the future.

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