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Chem Biodivers. 2019 Jul;16(7):e1900203. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201900203. Epub 2019 Jul 3.

Simultaneous Determination and Analysis of Major Ginsenosides in Wild American Ginseng Grown in Tennessee.

Liang J1,2,3, Chen L1,4, Guo YH1,5, Zhang M1,3, Gao Y1.

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International Ginseng Institute, School of Agriculture, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA.
Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Resourcing and Ethnic Minority Medicine, Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanchang, 330004, P. R. China.
Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132, USA.
Department of Pharmacology, College of Medicine, Guangxi University of Science and Technology, Liuzhou, 545006, P. R. China.
Faculty of International Education, Guangxi University of Chinese Medicine, Nanning, 530001, P. R. China.


Ginsenosides are the major constituent that is responsible for the health effects of American ginseng. The ginsenoside profile of wild American ginseng is ultimately the result of germplasm, climate, geography, vegetation species, water, and soil conditions. This is the first report to address the ginsenoside profile of wild American ginseng grown in Tennessee (TN), the third leading state for production of wild American ginseng. In the present study, ten major ginsenosides in wild American ginseng roots grown in TN, including Rb1, Rb2, Rb3, Rc, Rd, Re, Rf, Rg1, Rg2, and Rg3, were determined simultaneously. The chemotypic differences among TN wild ginseng, cultivated American ginseng, and Asian ginseng were assessed based on the widely used markers of ginsenoside profiling, including the top three ginsenosides, ratios of PPD/PPT, Rg1/Rb1, Rg1/Re, and Rb2/Rc. Our findings showed marked variation in ginsenoside profile for TN wild ginseng populations. Nevertheless, TN wild ginseng has significant higher ginsenoside content and more ginsenoside diversity than the cultivated ginseng. The total ginsenoside content in TN wild ginseng, as well as ginsenosides Rg1 and Re, increases with the age of the roots. Marked chemotypic differences between TN wild ginseng and cultivated American ginseng were observed based on the chemotypic markers. Surprisingly, we found that TN wild ginseng is close to Asian ginseng with regard to these characteristics in chemical composition. This study verified an accessible method to scientifically elucidate the difference in chemical constituents to distinguish wild from the cultivated American ginseng. This work is critical for the ecological and biological assessments of wild American ginseng so as to facilitate long-term sustainability of the wild population.


American ginseng; ginsenoside; simultaneous determination; wild population


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