1022-7954/04/4002- © 2004
Russian Journal of Genetics, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2004, pp. 178–185. Translated from Genetika, Vol. 40, No. 2, 2004, pp. 239–247.
Original Russian Text Copyright © 2004 by Artyukova, Kozyrenko, Koren, Muzarok, Reunova, Zhuravlev.
Seven  to fourteen  species of perennial herba-
ceous medicinal plants are assigned to the genus
(Araliaceae) by different authors. Most of these plants
occur in Asia except for two species,
, found in the east of North Amer-
ica . Only
C.A. Meyer (Oriental ginseng)
L. (American ginseng) are cur-
rently extensively cultivated, because the medicinal
substances obtained from their roots are used in phar-
maceutical, cosmetic, and food industry [1, 3]. Both
species are natural tetraploids with chromosome num-
= 48 [4–7]. Despite morphological and ana-
tomical similarity of these species, their hybrids are
sterile [5, 8], and they are readily genetically distin-
guishable [9–11], which conﬁrms their status of inde-
is currently represented by relatively
small, considerably depleted natural localities restricted to
Primorsky Krai of the Russian Far East and by “domes-
ticated” forms cultivated for different periods [9, 12].
These half-wild cultivated ginseng plants retain all
major properties of the wild plants. Note that
is cultivated since 1st century B.C., whereas the plants
from various forest plantation ﬁelds have a far shorter his-
tory of cultivation .
The history of
, a representative of
Northern American ﬂora, is essentially similar to that of
The uncontrolled exploitation of the
resources resulted in a reduction of the natural range of
this plant, was depletion of its gene pool, and even a
hazard of its extinction.
vated since the late 19th century, and the plantation
ﬁelds of cultivated American ginseng represent unim-
proved forms with an almost century-long history of
Preliminary study of genetic diversity of the existing
populations is required for the purpose of conservation
and reintroduction of rare and endangered species. In
recent years, the method of polymerase chain reaction
with random primers (RAPD) is widely applied for spe-
ciﬁc, population, and individual identiﬁcation of organ-
isms with undetermined DNA nucleotide sequences
[10, 11, 13, 14]. By this method, intervarietal and inter-
linear polymorphism was established in ginseng culti-
vated in Korea [10, 11] and the genetic distances were
determined between natural and cultivated populations
We have previously studied genetic variation of wild
using RAPD and allozyme
analyses [12, 16, 17]. In this study, genetic diversity of
mated by these two methods.
MATERIALS AND METHODS.
: 15 plants of Spassk population,
which were transferred from taiga of Spassk rayon and
grown in a “forest farm,” and 23 plants from a planta-
tion ﬁeld set up from roots of unknown origin pur-
chased from amateur ginseng breeders. All cultivated
plants were subdivided into two morphotypes, MI (14
plants) and MII (9 plants), which differed in their habi-
tus and leaf plate form and color.
: 22 plants grown from seeds of
American cultivated ginseng.
RAPD and Allozyme Analysis of Genetic Diversity
C.A. Meyer and
E. V. Artyukova, M. M. Kozyrenko, O. G. Koren, T. I. Muzarok,
G. D. Reunova, and Yu. N. Zhuravlev
Institute of Biology and Soil Science, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690022 Russia
fax: (4232)310-193; e-mail: ibss@eastnet febras.ru
Received July 16, 2002; in ﬁnal form, January 20, 2003
—Inter- and intraspeciﬁc variation of two ginseng species
estimated by studying 159 RAPD and 39 allozyme loci. Parameters of polymorphism and genetic diversity
were determined and a tree was constructed to characterize the differences between individual plants, samples,
and species. Genetic variation in
proved to be lower than in
Gene diversity in the
sample was comparable with the mean expected heterozygosity of herbaceous plants. This sug-
gests that wild
plants in various areas of the currently fragmented natural habitat and cultivated plants
of different origin have retained a signiﬁcant proportion of their gene pool. The mean heterozygosity calculated
per polymorphic locus for the RAPD phenotypes is similar to that of the allozyme loci and may be helpful in
estimating gene diversity in populations of rare and endangered plant species.