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Joe-Ann McCoy and N.D. Camper

Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's Wort) has an extensive history as an important medicinal herb used for the treatment of neurological and depressive disorders (Linde et al., 1996). The objective of this study was to establish an in vitro tissue culture protocol for St. John's Wort. Nodal segments, axillary buds, and leaf disc explants produced multiple shoots and callus on Murashige and Skoog minimal organics medium supplemented with combinations of indoleacetic acid (IAA; 0.57, 2.85, 5.71 μm) and benzylaminopurine (BA; 2.22, 4.44, 8.88 μm). Shoot production occurred on all combinations of IAA/BA tested and was significantly less in treatments without hormones. Callus production was higher on treatments containing 2.85 μm IAA + 4.44 μm BA, or 5.71 μm IAA + 8.88 μm BA. Shoots transferred to hormone-free medium at 8 weeks formed roots by 12 weeks. A micropropagation protocol was established for St. John's Wort using mature plants as the explant source.

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Joe-Ann McCoy, Mark Widrlechner and Jeff Carstens

Echinacea is becoming a well-established, high-value crop, both as an ornamental and a dietary supplement. A comprehensive collection of Echinacea germplasm is conserved by the USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) in Ames, Iowa, and is available via seed distribution for research and educational purposes (ars-grin.gov/npgs). Representing all nine species collected throughout their respective North American geographic ranges, the Echinacea collection includes 179 accessions. Extensive morphological characterization data associated with this collection have been compiled and are available to researchers on the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) database to aid in selection criteria. The collection has been used extensively for various research projects, ranging from ornamental breeding studies to HPLC analyses of metabolites of interest to the phytopharmaceutical industry. This poster will summarize the Echinacea collection conserved at the NCRPIS, including a list of available accessions by species, illustrations of seed, and control-pollinated cage propagation methods; and facilities utilized for seed cleaning, testing, and storage. In addition, instructions on how to use the GRIN database to view evaluation data and acquire germplasm will be provided.

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Joe-Ann McCoy, Jeanine M. Davis, N. Dwight Camper, Ikhlas Khan and Avula Bharathi

Black cohosh [Actaea racemosa L. syn. Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nuttal] is a native North American medicinal plant traditionally harvested for its rhizomes and roots. Black cohosh products were listed in the top 10 selling herbal supplements from 2002 to 2005. As a result of increasing commercial demand, there is a need to develop propagation protocols suitable for production purposes to replace current methods of harvesting from wild populations. The objectives of this study were to 1) determine optimal rhizome propagule division size for successful regeneration, 2) analyze triterpene glycoside concentrations, 3) quantify survival rates after 3 years of production, and 4) evaluate net yield results. Experimental sites included a shade cloth structure in an agricultural research field, a shaded forest interior, and a shaded, disturbed forest edge. Plant emergence, growth, and survival were assessed at each site over a 3-year period. Optimal rhizome division size for propagation was a 10 to 30-g section originating from terminal rhizome portions. Rhizome survival averaged 97% among all treatments tested by year 3 at three sites. No differences in mean triterpene glycoside concentrations were detected between rhizome size classes or sites tested. Mean cimiracemoside concentrations ranged from 0.80 to 1.39 mg·g–1 d/w tissue, deoxyactein 0.47 to 0.92 mg·g–1, and actein 10.41 to 13.69 mg·g–1. No differences in triterpene levels were detected between flowering and nonflowering plants, nor were yields reduced. Net yields from a shade cloth production site were 9 and 17 times higher than a disturbed forest edge and forest site respectively. Black cohosh is a strong candidate for commercial propagation under adequate site selection.