Variation of taxane content in needles of Taxus x media cultivars with different growth characteristics

Xinkun Wang, Yinghua Huang*, Andrew J. Mort, Yuhong Zeng, Charles G. Tauer, Kenneth D. Cochran

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Needles from 17 different Taxus x media cultivars, belonging to 4 groups showing different growth characteristics, were analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography for their content of 10-deacetylbaccatin III, baccatin III, cephalomannine and paclitaxel (Taxol®). The 4 Taxus x media cultivar groups were: 1.) medium to fast growing and upright form; 2.) slow growing and upright form; 3.) fast growing and spreading form; and 4.) slow growing and spreading form. The purpose of this study was to identify yew cultivars of fast growth rate, upright growth and high taxane content in their needles. The highest content of paclitaxel was found in 'Coleana' of group 1 (378 μg/g of the extracted dry weight). Three cultivars in group 1, 'Coleana', 'Stovekenii' and 'Hicksii', make good candidates for taxane extraction because of their high paclitaxel and 10-deacetylbaccatin III content, fast biomass accumulation and upright growing form. They are also good starting materials to develop alternative methods for the production of paclitaxel and its analogous compounds through modern biotechnology approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-624
Number of pages6
JournalZeitschrift fur Naturforschung - Section C Journal of Biosciences
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - 2006


  • HPLC
  • Paclitaxel
  • Taxane
  • Taxus x media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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