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New genetic map will speed up plant breeding of the world's most important medicinal crop
Date:1/14/2010

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Plant scientists at the University of York have published the first genetic map of the medicinal herb Artemisia annua. The map is being used to accelerate plant breeding of Artemisia and rapidly develop the species into a high-yielding crop. This development is urgently needed to help meet escalating demand for effective malaria treatments.

Though preventable and treatable, malaria is a serious global health problem, estimated to kill almost a million people every year. The most effective drugs for treating malaria are Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs). Increased funding for malaria treatments means demand for ACTs is expected to double from last year's figures, to around 200 million treatments, by 2012. However, meeting this increased demand will be a challenge: artemisinin is extracted from the plant Artemisia annua
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Contact: Elspeth Bartlet
eb526@york.ac.uk
44-019-043-28834
University of York
Source:Eurekalert  

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