Food Science and Biotechnology

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 939–945 | Cite as

Effect of seedling grade standard on improving the quality of licorice (Glycyrrhiza uralensis F.): changes in the seven bioactive components and root biomass during two-year growth

  • Jia Hou
  • Hongru Guo
  • Tao DuEmail author
  • Shijun Shao
  • Yanhong Zhang


Licorice cultivated is one of the most popular herbal medicines, while its quality is unstable. The aim of present study is to investigate the effect of licorice seedling grade standard on improving its quality. One-year-old Glycyrrhiza uralensis seedlings were classified into three grades 1, 2, and 3 by weight per plant. The major root biomass indexes (root fresh weight, root dry weight and taproot diameter) and contents of 7 bioactive components (glycyrrhizin, liquiritin, liquiritin apioside, liquiritigenin, isoliquiritin, isoliquiritin apioside, and isoliquiritigenin) varied in different grades seedlings. Further, the contents of 7 investigated compounds of 3-year-old licorice produced by grade 1 seedlings were 1.5–2 times as much as those produced by grade 2 and 3. Additionally, the contents of liquiritin apioside and isoliquiritin apioside were positively correlated with licorice root biomass. These results indicated that establishing licorice seedling grade standard is an effective way to improve and control its quality.


Seedling grading Licorice quality Bioactive components Root biomass 



This work is supported by National special research project of Chinese medicine industry “Base construction of national essential drugs required Chinese herbal medicine seeds and seedlings breeding” (2012-13) and General Scientific Research Project of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Gansu Province “Study on Reproduction Characteristics and Breeding Technique of Licorice” (GZK-2011-63).

Supplementary material

10068_2018_333_MOESM1_ESM.doc (156 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 156 kb)


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Copyright information

© The Korean Society of Food Science and Technology and Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jia Hou
    • 1
  • Hongru Guo
    • 3
  • Tao Du
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shijun Shao
    • 2
  • Yanhong Zhang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Chinese Pharmacy, Key Laboratory of Traditional Chinese Medicine Quality and Standard of Gansu ProvinceGansu University of Traditional Chinese MedicineLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Chemistry of Northwestern Plant Resources and Key Laboratory for Natural Medicine of Gansu Province, Lanzhou Institute of Chemical PhysicsChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.College of Plant ProtectionGansu Agricultural UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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