ISSN 10214437, Russian Journal of Plant Physiology, 2010, Vol. 57, No. 2, pp. 283–289. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2010.
Published in Russian in Fiziologiya Rastenii, 2010, Vol. 57, No.2, pp. 297–303.
Korean ginseng (
C. A. Meyer) is a
native herb of Korea and is cultivated for its highly val
ued root used for medicinal purposes. This perennial
herbaceous plant grows very slowly under natural con
dition and has a long production cycle because seeds
are usually produced only after threeyear cultivation and
must be stratified for an additional 12–18 months before
germination. For commercial purpose, ginseng should be
harvested after being cultivated for 4–6 years. The yield
of the ginseng roots is also very low due to various dis
eases and its peculiar life style .
Tissue culture of Korean ginseng is well studied in
the case of callus culture , protoplast culture ,
shoot organogenesis , somatic embryogenesis [4–
mediated genetic transforma
tion [8, 9]. Plant regeneration of ginseng is still consid
ered to be recalcitrant because of the difficulty in
obtaining plants with a welldeveloped root system.
Direct somatic embryogenesis from cotyledon
explants of Korean ginseng is most studied. Cotyledon
explants of Korean ginseng can produce somatic
embryos directly on growth regulatorfree medium, devel
oping either multiple or singlestate forms [4–7, 9]. The
This text was submitted by the authors in English.
multiple and fused somatic embryos gave only multi
ple shoots, whereas single somatic embryos regenerate
into plants with welldeveloped roots and shoots on
hormonefree medium . Choi and Soh 
reported that plasmolysing pretreatment of
cotyledon explants could enhance single embryo for
mation regardless of cotyledon maturity by disrupting
plasmodesmal connections between cells.
A lot of individual ginseng lines were selected in
Korean fields in 1968 to develop new ginseng varieties
of good quality and high yield. Among them, several
promising lines were selected and pure lines were sep
arated by Korea Ginseng and Tobacco Research Insti
tute [11, 12]. One of them was registered as a new
cv. YunPoong, the other one as cv. ChunPoong.
Kwon et al.  reported that cv. YunPoong showed
high yield of root production, good root quality, and
many seeds per plant and has high contents of the total
ginsenoside per dry weight in main roots. Although
cv. ChunPoong has low root weight, the length of tap
root is high and the root shape is good; therefore, a
high grade of fresh ginseng roots and red ginseng roots
can be obtained from cv. ChunPoong [13, 14].
The objective of this study was to optimize somatic
embryogenesis of these two new Korean ginseng culti
vars. We analyzed the effect of zygotic embryo matu
rity, the effect of plasmolysing pretreatment with
sucrose and mannitol, the effect of continuous sucrose
Somatic Embryogenesis of Two New
YunPoong and ChunPoong
Y. J. Kim
, M. K. Kim
, J. S. Shim
, R. K. Pulla
, and D. C. Yang
Korean Ginseng Center for Most Valuable Products and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University,
Suwon 449701, Korea;
fax: +82312022687; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Bio and Environmental Technology, Division of Environmental and Life Science, College of Natural Science,
Seoul Women’s University, Seoul 139774, Korea
Received August 28, 2008
—Somatic embryogenesis from single cells is important for normal plant regeneration of ginseng.
Cotyledon explants from zygotic embryos of two new ginseng cultivars, ChunPoong and YunPoong, pro
duced somatic embryos on Murashige and Skoog (MS) basal medium and MS medium containing growth
regulators. The highest frequency of single somatic embryo formation was obtained when cotyledon explants
were excised from premature (cultured for 1 day) zygotic embryos (about 6 mm in length) of both cvs. Chun
Poong and YunPoong and then cultured on MS medium supplemented with 7% sucrose. The frequency of
single somatic embryo formation was strongly enhanced when ChunPoong cotyledons were subjected to
plasmolysis with 0.1–0.5 M sucrose for 24 h and YunPoong cotyledons to plasmolysis with 1.0 M sucrose for
24 h and then cultured on MS medium with 2,4D.
Key words: Panax ginseng somatic embryogenesis sucrose plasmolysis 2,4D
: MS—Murashige and Skoog nutrient medium.