Molecular Identification of Korean Mountain Ginseng Using an Amplification Refractory Mutation System (ARMS)

  • In, Jun-Gyo (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Kim, Min-Kyeoung (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Lee, Ok-Ran (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Kim, Yu-Jin (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Lee, Beom-Soo (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Kim, Se-Young (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Kwon, Woo-Seang (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University) ;
  • Yang, Deok-Chun (Korean Ginseng Center and Ginseng Genetic Resource Bank, Kyung Hee University)
  • Published : 2010.03.31


Expensive herbs such as ginseng are always a possible target for fraudulent labeling. New mountain ginseng strains have occasionally been found deep within mountain areas and commercially traded at exorbitant prices. However, until now, no scientific basis has existed to distinguish such ginseng from commonly cultivated ginseng species other than by virtue of being found within deep mountain areas. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of the internal transcribed spacer has been shown to be an appropriate method for the identification of the most popular species (Panax ginseng) in the Panax ginseng genus. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) has been identified between three newly found mountain ginseng (KGD4, KGD5, and KW1) and already established Panax species. Specific PCR primers were designed from this SNP site within the sequence data and used to detect the mountain ginseng strains via multiplex PCR. The established multiplex-PCR method for the simultaneous detection of newly found mountain ginseng strains, Korean ginseng, and foreign ginseng in a single reaction was determined to be effective. This study is the first report of scientific discrimination of "mountain ginsengs" and describes an effective method of identification for fraud prevention and for uncovering the possible presence of other, cheaper ginseng species on the market.


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