Background: Various Panax ginseng cultivars exhibit a range of diversity for morphological and physiological traits. However, there are few studies on diversity of metabolic profiles and genetic background to understand the complex metabolic pathway in ginseng. Methods: To understand the complex metabolic pathway and related genes in ginseng, we tried to conduct integrated analysis of primary metabolite profiles and related gene expression using five ginseng cultivars showing different morphology. We investigated primary metabolite profiles via gas chromatographyemass spectrometry (GC-MS) and analyzed transcriptomes by Illumina sequencing using adventitious roots grown under the same conditions to elucidate the differences in metabolism underlying such genetic diversity. Results: GC-MS analysis revealed that primary metabolite profiling allowed us to classify the five cultivars into three independent groups and the grouping was also explained by eight major primary metabolites as biomarkers. We selected three cultivars (Chunpoong, Cheongsun, and Sunhyang) to represent each group and analyzed their transcriptomes. We inspected 100 unigenes involved in seven primary metabolite biosynthesis pathways and found that 21 unigenes encoding 15 enzymes were differentially expressed among the three cultivars. Integrated analysis of transcriptomes and metabolomes revealed that the ginseng cultivars differ in primary metabolites as well as in the putative genes involved in the complex process of primary metabolic pathways. Conclusion: Our data derived from this integrated analysis provide insights into the underlying complexity of genes and metabolites that co-regulate flux through these pathways in ginseng.
- Adventitious root
- Panax ginseng
- Primary metabolic pathways
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Complementary and alternative medicine