Comparing Ginsenoside Production in Leaves and Roots of Wild American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)


American ginseng, Panax quinquefolius L., is an herbaceous perennial species that is destructively harvested for its bioactive compounds called ginsenosides. The demand for this herb fosters illegal poaching and over-harvesting that reduces genetic variability and population viability. Five wild populations in western North Carolina were studied to better understand the production of ginsenosides in leaf and root tissues. Total ginsenoside concentration was significantly higher in leaves than roots, though total yield was higher in roots due to greater root biomass. However, some ginsensosides (Rb2, Rd and Re) had higher or more consistent yields in leaves than roots, so might be developed into a sustainable source of these medicinally-active compounds. Additionally, we identified regional root chemotypes that differed in the production of the ginsenosides Rg1 and Re and could be developed into regional cultivars depending on the desired panel of ginsenosides.

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J. Searels, K. Keen, J. Horton, H. Clarke and J. Ward, "Comparing Ginsenoside Production in Leaves and Roots of Wild American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 6, 2013, pp. 1252-1259. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.46154.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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