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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 215872, 6 pages
Research Article

Antimicrobial Activity of Artemisinin and Precursor Derived from In Vitro Plantlets of Artemisia annua L.

Plant Tissue and Cell Culture Laboratory, School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 Penang, Malaysia

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 7 October 2013; Accepted 1 November 2013; Published 19 January 2014

Academic Editor: Theresa L. Chang

Copyright © 2014 Suganthi Appalasamy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Artemisia annua L., a medicinal herb, produces secondary metabolites with antimicrobial property. In Malaysia due to the tropical hot climate, A. annua could not be planted for production of artemisinin, the main bioactive compound. In this study, the leaves of three in vitro A. annua L. clones were, extracted and two bioactive compounds, artemisinin and a precursor, were isolated by thin layer chromatography. These compounds were found to be effective in inhibiting the growth of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria but not Candida albicans. Their antimicrobial activity was similar to that of antibactericidal antibiotic streptomycin. They were found to inhibit the growth of the tested microbes at the minimum inhibition concentration of 0.09 mg/mL, and toxicity test using brine shrimp showed that even the low concentration of 0.09 mg/mL was very lethal towards the brine shrimps with 100% mortality rate. This study hence indicated that in vitro cultured plantlets of A. annua can be used as the alternative method for production of artemisinin and its precursor with antimicrobial activities.