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Title: Propagation Research Results for Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh) and analysis of Associated Triterpene Glycosides

item McCoy, Joe Ann

Submitted to: Proceedings of the Annual Appalachian Opportunities Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/15/2007
Publication Date: 12/31/2007
Citation: Mccoy, J.H. 2007. Propagation Research Results for Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh) and analysis of Associated Triterpene Glycosides. In: Morales, M.R., Foster, J.G., editors. Appalachian Opportunities: Plants and Plant Systems for Small Farm Product Diversification. Fifth Appalachian Opportunities Symposium, March 10, 2007, Mountain State University, Beckley, West Virginia. p. 87-89.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Actaea racemosa L. (black cohosh), is a native North American medicinal plant traditionally wild-harvested for its roots. Due to increasing international demand it is at risk of extirpation from its native habitat. There subsequently exists a large void of accessible research on specifics of propagation and analysis of associated triterpene glycosides which this study attempts to contribute. Rhizome division experiment tested three size classes compared to a mature control propagated under three different habitats. Size classes ranged from 10-30 g and originated from mid and/or terminal sections. Habitats were a forest interior, a disturbed forest edge, and a shadecloth structure on an agricultural site with no soil amendments. By year three, rhizome emergence and survival averaged 97% among all sites with no differences between rhizome size classes tested. However, sites varied widely in rhizome net yields. Net yields from the Shadecloth site were 9 and 17 times higher than the disturbed forest and forested site, respectively. Flowering and seed production were highest at the Shadecloth site (73%) when compared to the forest sites (7%, 4%). When triterpene glycoside concentrations were analyzed, there were no differences between sites or treatments. There were also no differences between flowering and non-flowering individuals. Correlation analysis indicated that flowering and seed production were not negatively correlated with rhizome yields or triterpene glycoside concentrations. For all samples analyzed, cimaracemoside concentrations ranged from 0.063 mg/g to 2.59 mg/g ; 2,6-deoxyactein, 0.154 mg/g to 1.97 mg/g; and actein, 1.13 mg/g to 30.7 mg/g. These data imply that individuals may be selected for high concentrations of triterpene glycosides by rhizome division. In vitro seed experiments tested three temperature combinations and three seed treatments on radicle emergence and cotyledon formation. When seed treatments were compared, giberellic acid and MSMO did not have significant effects on germination results when compared to water. When four temperature protocols were compared in vitro, only variable temperature regimes provoked germination with no germination observed at constant temperatures. Only seeds subjected to an alternating stage of 20/8 degrees C germinated. Within the in vitro studies, radicle emergence rates ranged from 74-95% with corresponding cotyledon rates ranging from 58-62%. Using fresh green seed did not reduce dormancy requirements. When fall and spring field plantings were compared, no germination was observed with spring planted seed whereas fall planted seed produced cotyledon emergence rates ranging from 7 - 65%. Radicle emergence was observed by week nine after planting with cotyledon emergence 23 weeks after planting.