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J Ginseng Res. 2019 Jan;43(1):143-153. doi: 10.1016/j.jgr.2018.09.005. Epub 2018 Oct 5.

Label-free quantitative proteomic analysis of Panax ginseng leaves upon exposure to heat stress.

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Department of Plant Bioscience, Pusan National University, Miryang, Republic of Korea.
Department of Herbal Crop Research, Rural Development Administration, Eumseong, Republic of Korea.
National Instrumentation Center for Environmental Management, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Ginseng is one of the well-known medicinal plants, exhibiting diverse medicinal effects. Its roots possess anticancer and antiaging properties and are being used in the medical systems of East Asian countries. It is grown in low-light and low-temperature conditions, and its growth is strongly inhibited at temperatures above 25°C. However, the molecular responses of ginseng to heat stress are currently poorly understood, especially at the protein level.


We used a shotgun proteomics approach to investigate the effect of heat stress on ginseng leaves. We monitored their photosynthetic efficiency to confirm physiological responses to a high-temperature stress.


The results showed a reduction in photosynthetic efficiency on heat treatment (35°C) starting at 48 h. Label-free quantitative proteome analysis led to the identification of 3,332 proteins, of which 847 were differentially modulated in response to heat stress. The MapMan analysis showed that the proteins with increased abundance were mainly associated with antioxidant and translation-regulating activities, whereas the proteins related to the receptor and structural-binding activities exhibited decreased abundance. Several other proteins including chaperones, G-proteins, calcium-signaling proteins, transcription factors, and transfer/carrier proteins were specifically downregulated.


These results increase our understanding of heat stress responses in the leaves of ginseng at the protein level, for the first time providing a resource for the scientific community.


High temperature; Panax ginseng; Photosynthetic efficiency; Shotgun proteomics

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