Production of ginseng and its bioactive components in plant cell culture: Current technological and applied aspects

Jianyong Wu, Jian Jiang Zhong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

178 Citations (Scopus)


Ginseng (the root of Panax ginseng CA Mayer) is a valuable oriental herb, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years, both as a disease-healing drug and a general tonic. The medicinal value of ginseng is now also widely recognized in the west and the world ginseng market is expanding. The current supply of ginseng depends mainly on field cultivation, which is a slow and laborious process. Plant cell and tissue culture methods have been explored as potentially more efficient alternatives for the mass production of ginseng and its bioactive components. Research into ginseng cell and tissue cultures started in the early 1960s and commercial applications have been underway since the late 1980s. The ginseng cell culture has continued to attract considerable research and development effort in recent years as scientists seek to understand and optimize the culture conditions. In this paper, we review recent studies on ginseng cell culture processes, focusing on the physiological and bioengineering factors affecting the productivity of ginseng biomass and useful metabolites (e.g. ginseng saponin and polysaccharide) and the progress and concerns in large-scale applications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-99
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Feb 1999


  • Cell culture processes
  • Ginseng
  • Production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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