Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2012, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (4): 302-312.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2012.00302

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Correlation between ginsenoside contents in Panax ginseng roots and ecological factors, and ecological division of ginseng plantation in China

JIA Guang-Lin1,2, HUANG Lin-Fang2, SUO Feng-Mei2, SONG Jing-Yuan2, XIE Cai-Xiang2*, and SUN Juan1*   

  1. 1Institute of Applied Research of Economic Herb Plants, Qingdao Agricultural University, Qingdao 266109, China;

    2Key Laboratory of Bioactive Substances and Resources Utilization of Chinese Herbal Medicine of Ministry of Education, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
  • Received:2011-10-08 Revised:2012-01-13 Online:2012-03-28 Published:2012-04-01
  • Contact: SUN Juan


Aims Roots of Panax ginseng are a rare and famous Chinese medicine, in which the total ginsenosides are responsible for biological activities. Due to reduction of the wild resource, it is necessary to artificially cultivate P. ginseng in appropriate agricultural lands. Our objective is to explore suitable planting regions by analyzing the correlation between ginsenoside contents and ecological factors in various agricultural lands.
Methods Three ginsenoside (Rg1, Re and Rb1) contents in roots of five-years-old cultivated P. ginseng from Liaoning, Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces were measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC). Ten ecological factors including temperature, moisture and light at 16 planting sites in China were obtained from the ecological suitability database of the Geographic Information System for Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM-GIS). They were evaluated by factor analysis to determine the suitable growing regions for P. ginseng. The assessment showed that planting bases in Jilin and Liaoning provinces were the best option for P. ginseng development. Ecological division of the three ginsenosides was assessed according to the results of factor analysis. The regression equation of ten ecological factors and ginsenoside contents was established by partial least-squares regression. Ecological divisions of P. ginseng agricultural lands in China were then classified.
Important findings There was a significant negative correlation between total ginsenoside contents and various temperature parameters, such as active accumulated temperature, mean annual temperature, average temperature in July and average temperature in January, indicating that low temperature is a key factor for accumulation of ginsenosides. Also, ginsenoside contents had weak correlations with moisture factors (e.g., relative humidity and average annual precipitation), geographical factor (e.g., altitude) and light (e.g., annual average sunshine hours). The results of ecological division showed that the best agricultural lands for P. ginseng were large areas of Changbai Mountains, part of Taihang Mountains and Yanshan Mountains.

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