Home Publications Native Plants: Propagating and Planting Comparing Biomass and Taxane Concentrations to Maximize Yield in Rooted Cuttings of Pacific Yew (Taxus Brevifolia Nutt)

Comparing Biomass and Taxane Concentrations to Maximize Yield in Rooted Cuttings of Pacific Yew (Taxus Brevifolia Nutt)

Optimizing yields of important taxane compounds in yews under cultivation is a function of the genetic variation among individual genotypes in taxane concentration and vegetative growth response to hedging. This study examined yew clones grown from cuttings, their foliar biomass and regrowth after harvest in relation to their foliar taxane concentrations, and compared the performance of Pacific yew (Taxus brevifolia Nutt.) to an ornamental yew hybrid (Taxus x media Rehd.). To investigate the variation in these components, branch tips for cuttings were collected from an ornamental yew shrub, and nine Pacific yew trees. Cuttings were rooted in an outdoor rooting house then transplanted to raised beds. After three growing seasons in the raised beds, the clones were hedged for foliar biomass at one- and two-year intervals. Total taxanes, taxol, 10-deacetylbaccatin III and baccatin III concentra-tions for each clone were determined when biomass was first harvested. The highest yielding clones generally ranked in the top half in total taxane and taxol amount per clone over all years but not necessarily in growth of biomass. Taxane concentration appeared to be more important than biomass accumulation for optimizing yields. This study suggests that T. brevifolia could be managed through selection, propaga-tion, and cultivation of high taxane-yielding genotypes as a sustainable source of these important compounds.


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Author(s): Donald L. Copes, Nan C. Vance, R. G. Kelsey

Publication: Native Plants: Propagating and Planting

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