China launches ginseng genome program

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 30, 2010
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China launched a ginseng genome program Thursday in northeastern Jilin Province to promote the development of the ginseng industry, local authorities said.

The program will sequence and map the ginseng genome to understand the formation of ginsenoside, a compound in the herb that boosts immunity and helps metabolism.

The research will improve the use of the nutritious plant, according to a statement from Jilin's science and technology department.

The program will be jointly operated by top scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences and Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the statement said.

Dubbed "King of Herbs" in China, ginseng has been used as a traditional medicine and health care product for more than 4,000 years.

The Changbai Mountains in Jilin account for 70 percent of the world's ginseng production.

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