Pseudo-ginseng, potatoes and chili once were one family: Yunnan scientists
Recently, researchers in Yunnan successfully deciphered the genetic code of pseudo-ginseng. They found that it differentiated from the Solanaceae plants, potatoes and chili, 91 million years ago. In the course of their research the scientists found pseudo-ginseng, tetraploid ginseng and American ginseng share 9,383 common genes, and therefore belong to the same genus.
Pseudo-ginseng, also known as radix notoginseng or panax pseudo-ginseng, is one of China’s most important medicinal plants, with a very long history of artificial cultivation. According to the Wenshan County Annals, the history of its cultivation dates back 400 years. However, the earliest planted pseudo-ginseng originated from wild species, and later multiplied gradually in the course of it cultivation. During this time it did not form a new species.
Professor Yang Shengchao, from Yunnan Agricultural University, explained that as a result of 15 years of scientific research, the university worked with Wenshan City Miaoxiang Pseudo-ginseng Industrial Co., Ltd. to breed two new varieties of pseudo-ginseng. That research ended the history of pseudo-ginseng having no species of its own.
Recently, Professor Yang Shengchao’s team, as well as another led by Professor Dong Yang, cooperated and finished the entire genome sequence for pseudo-ginseng for the first time. Their study has discovered that pseudo-ginseng differentiated from the Solanaceae plants, potatoes and chilis, 91,000,000 years ago. That is to say, pseudo-ginseng, potatoes and chilis began to split apart during that period, becoming plants with different characters. In addition, the researchers also found that pseudo-ginseng, tetraploid ginseng and American ginseng share 9,383 common genes, and 976 characteristic transcripts. Thus, they proved from a genetic research level that pseudo-ginseng, ginseng and American ginseng all belong to the same genus, and share many identical and similar features.
Editor: Eric Wang