Understanding Key Genes in Ginseng and Their Response to Plant Hormone Treatment

Jenn Hoskins
15th June, 2024

Understanding Key Genes in Ginseng and Their Response to Plant Hormone Treatment

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • Researchers at Jilin Agricultural University studied the FAR1/FHY3 gene family in ginseng to understand its role in ginsenoside production
  • They found that treating ginseng roots with methyl jasmonate significantly increased the expression of certain FAR1/FHY3 genes
  • The gene PgFAR40 showed the most significant response, suggesting it plays a key role in enhancing ginsenoside production
Ginseng (Panax ginseng C. A. Mey.) is a highly valued medicinal plant used extensively in traditional Chinese medicine. Its primary active ingredients are ginsenosides, which are metabolites with significant therapeutic properties. Understanding the genetic factors that influence ginsenoside production is crucial for optimizing its medicinal use. A recent study conducted by researchers at Jilin Agricultural University has focused on the FAR1/FHY3 gene family in ginseng, which is known to play critical roles in plant growth, development, and hormone signaling[1]. Previous research has highlighted the importance of the FAR1/FHY3 gene family in various plant processes. For instance, in Arabidopsis thaliana, these genes have been shown to be key components in phytochrome A (phyA)-mediated far-red (FR) light signaling[2]. They are also involved in several developmental and physiological processes, including UV-B signaling, circadian clock entrainment, and chloroplast biogenesis[2]. FAR1/FHY3 genes have been found to regulate overlapping processes in plants, such as seed germination and seedling development, by interacting with the phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA)[3]. The study from Jilin Agricultural University aimed to screen and identify FAR1/FHY3 gene family members in the ginseng transcriptome databases. The researchers analyzed the gene structure, phylogeny, chromosomal localization, expression patterns, and promoter cis-acting elements of these genes. They also performed Gene Ontology (GO) functional annotations to better understand the roles of these genes in ginseng. One of the key findings of the study was the response of these genes to methyl jasmonate, a compound known to significantly increase the content of protopanaxadiol ginsenosides in ginseng adventitious roots. The researchers treated the ginseng adventitious roots with 200 mM methyl jasmonate and monitored the expression patterns of four genes that contained the largest number of methyl jasmonate cis-acting elements. All four genes showed a response to the treatment, with PgFAR40 exhibiting the most significant change. This study builds on earlier findings that FAR1/FHY3 genes are involved in hormone signaling and stress responses. For example, in Arabidopsis, FHY3 and FAR1 directly bind to the promoter of ABA-Insensitive5, activating its expression and affecting the plant's sensitivity to ABA-mediated inhibition of seed germination and seedling development[3]. The current study suggests that similar mechanisms may be at play in ginseng, where FAR1/FHY3 genes respond to methyl jasmonate signaling to regulate ginsenoside production. The identification and preliminary investigation of FAR1/FHY3 gene family members in ginseng provide a foundation for future research. This study offers valuable data for subsequent functional validation of these genes under methyl jasmonate signaling, which could lead to enhanced ginsenoside production. Understanding these genetic mechanisms can help optimize the medicinal use of ginseng and improve its cultivation practices. In summary, the study by Jilin Agricultural University has advanced our understanding of the FAR1/FHY3 gene family in ginseng and their role in response to methyl jasmonate. This research not only ties together previous findings on the importance of these genes in plant development and stress response but also opens new avenues for enhancing the medicinal properties of ginseng through genetic and biochemical approaches.

GeneticsBiochemPlant Science


Main Study

1) Genome-wide identification and integrated analysis of the FAR1/FHY3 gene family and genes expression analysis under methyl jasmonate treatment in Panax ginseng C. A. Mey.

Published 14th June, 2024


Related Studies

2) Multifaceted roles of FHY3 and FAR1 in light signaling and beyond.


3) FAR-RED ELONGATED HYPOCOTYL3 and FAR-RED IMPAIRED RESPONSE1 transcription factors integrate light and abscisic acid signaling in Arabidopsis.


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