Cultivar variations of Australian-grown danshen (salvia miltiorrhiza): bioactive markers and root yields

Chun Li, Shu Sheng, C K Pang, Philip Marriott, Brian May, Shufeng Zhou, David Story, Charlie Xue

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge, Lamiaceae) is a commonly used and highly valued Chinese medicinal herb grown widely in China. In the present work, we studied cultivar variations of Australian-grown Danshen in order to select optimal cultivars for local herbal production. Root yields of seven cultivars, V1-V7, were monitored in a one-year field trial, and bioactive markers. including cryptotanshinone, tanshinone 1, tanshinone IIA, and salvianolic acid B, were quantitatively determined using a validated RP-HPLC method. Significant variations were found in root yields, root production efficiencies, and contents of the bioactive marker compounds. Linear correlations were observed among the contents of three tanshinones but not among those of tanshinones and salvianolic acid B. Among the cultivars, V6 was the best cultivar for production of tanshinones, and V4 and V5 were best for production of salvianolic acid B. The findings indicate that it is possible to achieve optimal root yields, and high contents of tanshinones and salvianolic acid B by selecting specific Danshen cultivars.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170 - 181
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry & Biodiversity
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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