Since December, 2019, Wuhan, China, has experienced an outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).

Artemisinin-based therapies are the only effective treatment for malaria, the most devastating disease in human history. To meet the growing demand for artemisinin and make it accessible to the poorest, an inexpensive and rapidly scalable production platform is urgently needed. Here we have developed a new synthetic biology approach, combinatorial supertransformation of transplastomic recipient lines (COSTREL), and applied it to introduce the complete pathway for artemisinic acid, the precursor of artemisinin, into the high-biomass crop tobacco.