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Open AccessReview

Dragon’s Blood from Dracaena cambodiana in China: Applied History and Induction Techniques toward Formation Mechanism

by Xupo Ding 1,2, Jiahong Zhu 2, Hao Wang 1, Huiqin Chen 1 and Wenli Mei 1,2,*
1
Hainan Key Laboratory for Research and Development of Natural Products from Li folk Medicine, Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, No. 4 Xueyuan Road, Haikou 571101, Hainan, China
2
Key Laboratory of Biology and Genetic Resources of Tropical Crops of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Institute of Tropical Bioscience and Biotechnology; Chinese Academy of Tropical Agriculture Sciences, No. 4 Xueyuan Road, Haikou 571101, Hainan, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(4), 372; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11040372
Received: 19 January 2020 / Revised: 24 March 2020 / Accepted: 25 March 2020 / Published: 26 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Dragon Trees - Tertiary Relicts in Current Reality)
Dragon’s blood that is extracted from Dracaena plants has been widely used as traditional medicine in various ancient cultures. The application of dragon’s blood has a cherished history in China, even though the original plants were not discovered for some period. Dracaena cochinchinensis and Dracaena cambodiana were successively discovered in southern China during the 1970s–1980s. In the last half of the century, Chinese scientists have extensively investigated the production of dragon’s blood from these two Dracaena species, whereas these results have not been previously systematically summarized, as in the present paper. Herein, we present the applied history in ancient China and artificially induced technologies for dragon’s blood development based on these two Dracaena species, in particular, using tissue cultures seedlings and tender plants of D. cambodiana. Big data research, including transcriptomic and genomic studies, has suggested that dragon’s blood might be a defense substance that is secreted by Dracaena plants in response to (a)biotic stimuli. This review represents an effort to highlight the progress and achievements from applied history as well as induction techniques that are used for the formation of dragon’s blood that have taken place in China. Such knowledge might aid in the global conservation of wild Dracaena species and contribute to understanding dragon blood formation mechanisms, eventually assisting in the efficient utilization of limited Dracaena plant resources for the sustainable production of dragon’s blood. View Full-Text
Keywords: dragon’s blood; Dracaena cambodiana; big data; genetic background; formation mechanism; organelle genome; survey sequencing dragon’s blood; Dracaena cambodiana; big data; genetic background; formation mechanism; organelle genome; survey sequencing
MDPI and ACS Style

Ding, X.; Zhu, J.; Wang, H.; Chen, H.; Mei, W. Dragon’s Blood from Dracaena cambodiana in China: Applied History and Induction Techniques toward Formation Mechanism. Forests 2020, 11, 372.

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