Canadian Forest Service Publications

Domesticating ground hemlock (Taxus canadensis) for producing taxanes: a case study. 2002. Smith, R.F.; Cameron, S.I. Pages 40-45 in , Proceedings: 29th Annual Meeting of the Plant Growth Regulation Society of America. July 28-August 1, 2002, Halifax, N.S. Plant Growth Regulation Society of America, LaGrange, GA, USA.

Year: 2002

Issued by: Atlantic Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 21126

Language: English

Availability: PDF (request by e-mail)

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The secondary plant product, paclitaxel (Taxol), is a diterpenoid isolated from the foliage and roots of a number of different yew species for the treatment of cancer. Ground hemlock (Taxus canadensis) is one of the last unexploited yew species in the world, but with the increase in the demand for paclitaxel and related compounds, the potential threat exists that T. canadensis may be over-harvested, as has happened elsewhere. Since 1997, the Canadian Forest Service - Atlantic Forestry Centre has engaged in a program to minimize over-utilization of ground hemlock by research in (1) developing ecologically sustainable harvesting protocols in natural stands, and (2) by a domestication program to convert elite cultivars of the wild species into a commercially reared crop.