Evaluating the Quality and Traits of a New Licorice Hybrid Cultivar

Greg Howard
23rd May, 2024

Evaluating the Quality and Traits of a New Licorice Hybrid Cultivar

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University developed a new licorice cultivar, strain C-18, by hybridizing Glycyrrhiza uralensis and Glycyrrhiza glabra
  • Strain C-18 combines high glycyrrhizin content (3.61%) from G. uralensis with the robust growth of G. glabra, making it valuable for pharmaceutical use
  • The hybrid strain retains some chemical characteristics of G. uralensis and introduces unique compounds, enhancing its potential therapeutic benefits
Licorice, derived from the roots of Glycyrrhiza species, is a widely used medicinal herb known for its various health benefits, including tonifying the spleen and qi, clearing heat and toxic substances, and relieving cough and pain[2]. The development of new cultivars for licorice production is crucial for meeting the increasing demand, particularly in countries like Japan. A recent study conducted by researchers at Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University has introduced a promising new cultivar, strain C-18, which is an interspecific hybrid of Glycyrrhiza uralensis Fisch. and Glycyrrhiza glabra L.[1]. The primary goal of this study was to develop a licorice cultivar that combines the high glycyrrhizin (GL) content of G. uralensis with the vigorous growth characteristics of G. glabra. Glycyrrhizin is a key bioactive compound in licorice, known for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. The researchers selected strain OMP-28 of G. uralensis as the seed parent for its high GL content and strain OMP-10 of G. glabra as the pollen parent for its robust growth. After two years of cultivation, strain C-18 exhibited impressive growth metrics, including a fresh weight of 148.8 grams and a stem diameter of 0.89 mm. The GL content in the dry weight of strain C-18 was measured at 3.61%, which is significantly higher than the minimum requirement of 2.5% for medicinal use. This high GL content makes strain C-18 particularly valuable for pharmaceutical applications. The study also investigated the chemical composition of strain C-18. Interestingly, while glycycoumarin, a characteristic compound of G. uralensis, was detected, glabridin, a compound typical of G. glabra, was not found. This indicates that the hybrid strain retains some chemical characteristics of G. uralensis while lacking certain compounds from G. glabra. Additionally, two distinctive components, 2,3-dehydrokievitone and parvisoflavone A, were identified in strain C-18, further highlighting its unique chemical profile. The development of strain C-18 builds on previous research that has explored the genetic and chemical diversity of Glycyrrhiza species. For instance, earlier studies have shown that G. uralensis, G. glabra, and G. inflata have distinct chemical profiles and genetic markers, which can be used for species identification and quality control[3][4]. The new strain C-18 aligns with these findings by demonstrating that hybridization can result in unique chemical compositions, potentially offering new therapeutic benefits. Moreover, the cultivation of strain C-18 addresses some of the challenges faced by licorice producers. Previous studies have highlighted the importance of suitable soil conditions, irrigation, and fertilization in enhancing the yield and quality of licorice[2]. Strain C-18's robust growth and high GL content suggest that it could be a viable option for large-scale cultivation, particularly in regions with suitable environmental conditions. In summary, the development of strain C-18 by Osaka Medical and Pharmaceutical University represents a significant advancement in licorice cultivation. By combining the high GL content of G. uralensis with the vigorous growth of G. glabra, this new cultivar offers a promising solution for meeting the growing demand for high-quality licorice in the pharmaceutical and food industries. The study not only highlights the potential of hybridization in enhancing the medicinal properties of licorice but also provides valuable insights into the genetic and chemical diversity of Glycyrrhiza species[2][3][4].

AgricultureBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Chemical quality evaluation and characteristics of interspecific hybrid (G. uralensis × G. glabra) C-18 strain as a new Licorice cultivar.

Published 22nd May, 2024


Related Studies

2) A review on the plant resources of important medicinal licorice.


3) Constituent properties of licorices derived from Glycyrrhiza uralensis, G. glabra, or G. inflata identified by genetic information.

Journal: Biological & pharmaceutical bulletin, Issue: Vol 30, Issue 7, Jul 2007

4) Biosynthesis-Based Quantitative Analysis of 151 Secondary Metabolites of Licorice To Differentiate Medicinal Glycyrrhiza Species and Their Hybrids.


Related Articles

An unhandled error has occurred. Reload 🗙