Plant Biotechnology Reports

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 227–235 | Cite as

Temporal changes in the growth, saponin content and antioxidant defense in the adventitious roots of Panax ginseng subjected to nitric oxide elicitation

  • Rajesh Kumar Tewari
  • Soo Yeon Lee
  • Eun Joo Hahn
  • Kee Yoeup Paek
Original Article


Nitric oxide (NO) is a diffusible, gaseous signaling molecule. In plants, NO influences growth and development, and it can also affect plant responses to various stresses. Because NO induces root differentiation and interacts with reactive oxygen species, we examined the temporal effect of NO elicitation on root growth, saponin accumulation and antioxidant defense responses in the adventitious roots of mountain ginseng (Panax ginseng). The observations revealed that NO is involved in root growth and saponin production. Elicitation with sodium nitroprusside (SNP) activated O2 -generating NADPH oxidase (NOX) activity, which most probably subsequently enhanced growth of adventitious roots of mountain ginseng. A severe inhibition of NOX activity and decline in dry weight of SNP elicited adventitious roots in the presence of NOX inhibitor (diphenyl iodonium, DPI), which further supports involvement of NOX in root growth. Enhanced activities of antioxidant enzymes by SNP appear to be responsible for low H2O2, less lipid peroxidation, and modulation of ascorbate and non-protein thiol statuses in the adventitious roots of mountain ginseng. Dry mass, saponin content and NOX activity was related with NO content present in adventitious roots of mountain ginseng.


Antioxidants Antioxidant enzymes NADPH oxidase Root growth Reactive oxygen species 



Ascorbate peroxidase


Ascorbic acid






DHA reductase




Ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid


Glutathione reductase




NADPH oxidase




Reactive oxygen species


Sodium nitroprusside


Superoxide dismutase


Trichloroacetic acid


2,3-bis(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide sodium salt



This laboratory work is financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development (MOE), the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy (MOCIE), Ministry of Labor (MOLAB) and the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by Korea government (MOST).


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Copyright information

© Korean Society for Plant Biotechnology and Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajesh Kumar Tewari
    • 1
  • Soo Yeon Lee
    • 2
  • Eun Joo Hahn
    • 1
  • Kee Yoeup Paek
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Center for the Development of Advanced Horticultural TechnologyChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.CBN BiotechChungbuk National UniversityCheongjuRepublic of Korea

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