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A systematic review of ginsenoside biosynthesis, spatiotemporal distribution, and response to biotic and abiotic factors in American ginseng.

Food & Function 2024 Februrary 8
American ginseng ( Panax quinquefolius ) has gained recognition as a medicinal and functional food homologous product with several pharmaceutical, nutritional, and industrial applications. However, the key regulators involved in ginsenoside biosynthesis, the spatiotemporal distribution characteristics of ginsenosides, and factors influencing ginsenosides are largely unknown, which make it challenging to enhance the quality and chemical extraction processes of the cultivated American ginseng. This review presents an overview of the pharmacological effects, biosynthesis and spatiotemporal distribution of ginsenosides, with emphasis on the impacts of biotic and abiotic factors on ginsenosides in American ginseng. Modern pharmacological studies have demonstrated that American ginseng has neuroprotective, cardioprotective, antitumor, antidiabetic, and anti-obesity effects. Additionally, most genes involved in the upregulation of ginsenoside biosynthesis have been identified, while downstream regulators (OSCs, CYP450, and UGTs) require further investigation. Futhermore, limited knowledge exists regarding the molecular mechanisms of the impact of biotic and abiotic factors on ginsenosides. Notably, the nonmedicinal parts of American ginseng, particularly its flowers, fibrous roots, and leaves, exhibit higher ginsenoside content than its main roots and account for a considerable amount of weight in the whole plant, representing promising resources for ginsenosides. Herein, the prospects of molecular breeding and metabolic engineering based on multi-omics to improve the unstable quality of cultivated American ginseng and the shortage of ginsenosides are proposed. This review highlights the gaps in the current research on American ginseng and proposes solutions to address these limitations, providing a guide for future investigations into American ginseng ginsenosides.

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