Abstract. Artemisia annua L., a family member of Asteraceae, is medicinal plants originated from China. The plant has been widely used by the local people for malaria remedy. Its active substance, artemisine, has been proved to hamper the malaria bacteria incubation, Plasmodium sp. In accordance with the WHO recomendation, the Department of Health of Indonesia is now in the attempt of developing this plant as the subtitute of chloroquin because of the malaria bacteria resistance to this antidote. In Indonesia, the artemisine content of the plant less than 0,5% is the crucial problem leading no investors are interested in its economic value. Therefore, Indonesian Medicinal and Spice Crops Research Institute; BPTO Tawangmangu, Indonesian Institute of Sciences; and PT Kimia Farma cooperate for obtaining the prime clone by breeding, selection, as well as environmental adaptation. In coping with the problem, ICABIOGRAD in the collaboration with Bogor Agricultural University have conducted the research for genetic improvement through mutative induction and field selection. This research on somaclonal variation. was conducted from Januari 2006 to Juni 2008. Eksplan used for experiment were shoots radiated with 10-100 Gy gamma ray. The result showed that the shoot radiated with the dosage of 70-100 Gy was unable to grow. On the other hand, the high level of multiplication was acquired in the one radiated with 10-30 Gy. The optimum radiation for somaclonal radiation was eventually gained with 40-60 Gy. The somaclone lines with 10-60 Gy radiation have been aclimatized and planted in Gunung Putri plot in the elevation of 1545 asl. Artemisinin content at the high biomases genotype is 0,49-0,52%.
Key words: Artemisia annua L., artemisinine, somaclone, varieties, gamma ray.