In order to discover the formation mechanism of carotenoid derived aroma, which has been wildly used on protection of crop against insect attacks, the full-length cDNA of an Artemisia annua carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase (AaCCD1) was cloned by rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The function of AaCCD1 was characterized by expression of AaCCD1 in a strain of E. coli accumulating carotenoids and enzyme assay in vitro. The completed open read frame of AaCCD1 was 1629 bp and it encoded a 542-amino acid protein with a 77% amino acid identity to Arabidopsis thaliana CCD1, a predicted molecular mass of 61.04 kDa and a pI of 5.8. AaCCD1 efficiently cleaves carotenoids and regulate the formation of terpenoid compounds. This is the first time to report the cloning and identification of carotenoid cleavage dioxygenase from Atemisia annua, which will play a great role on understanding the regulation of volatile compounds.