Major Achievement and Prospect of Ginseng Breeding in Korea
Bang, K.-H.; Kim, Y.-C.; Lee, J.-W.; Cho, I.-H.; Hong, C.-E.; Hyun, D.-Y.; Kim, J.-U.
Korean Journal of Breeding Science 52: 170-178
Artificial selection of ginseng has been practiced since Hwangsook (with yellow pericarp and a green stalk, and was developed from a landrace parent) and Cheonggyeong (with red pericarp) were selected as breeding lines in 1926. Systematic research into ginseng breeding, however, started in earnest in the 1960s when the Central Research Institute of Monopoly and Technology (CRIMT) was established, and the Korean Ginseng Experiment Station was organized under the CRIMT. Research into variant characteristics, resource collections, and genetic evaluations began around this time. With the establishment of the Korean Ginseng Institute in the 1970s, studies involving pedigree selection, cataloguing of agricultural traits of genetic resources, generation shortening by tissue culture, and heritability assessments were conducted. In the 1980s, regional adaptation tests were carried out on breeding lines, focusing on ginseng-producing districts. In the 1990s, research was performed on seed multiplication for variety diffusion, effective components and processing quality, and cross breeding. Foreign ginsengs were introduced for interspecies hybridization, and studies were conducted using genetic engineering techniques. Since the 2000s, applications have been made to patent different ginseng cultivars. Currently, 32 cultivars are registered at the Korea Seed & Variety Service. Future goals for ginseng breeding include developing climate change- and disaster-resistant, consumer-oriented, high-performance cultivars. Therefore, it is necessary to develop technologies for distributing new cultivars by collecting and evaluating genetic resources, and cross breeding and performing mass propagation using these resources.