Planta Med 2005; 71(12): 1157-1164
DOI: 10.1055/s-2005-873166
Original Paper
Analytical Methods
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Geographic Information System Method for Assessing Chemo-Diversity in Medicinal Plants

Rita M. Moraes1 , Henrique G. Momm2 , Bladimiro Silva1 , Victor Maddox3 , Gregory L. Easson2 , Hemant Lata1 , Daneel Ferreira1 , 4
  • 1National Center for Natural Products Research, Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA
  • 2Department of Geology and Geological Engineering, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA
  • 3Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS, USA
  • 4Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA
Further Information

Publication History

Received: December 10, 2004

Accepted: June 10, 2005

Publication Date:
10 November 2005 (online)


The spatial distribution of wild germplasm of Podophyllum peltatum L. (American mayapple) has been analyzed using the Geographic Information System (GIS) with the objective to develop a method and a database for evaluation of biotic and abiotic factors influencing drug yield, and to map elite genotypes for propagation and improvement. The field assessment followed a standard procedure including geographical coordinates of each accession, leaf biomass randomly harvested, identification of associate species, collection of herbarium specimen, soil sample and digital pictures of the site. By overlaying morphological and chemical data with geomorphic information, a thematic map was created locating the podophyllotoxin-rich accessions and the uniqueness of each site was recorded for post-collection analysis. This work has enabled the establishment of a database of P. peltatum germplasm in Mississippi with drug yield linked to spatial locations for rational utilization of our natural resources. While this method integrates information of well-characterized diverse in situ P. peltatum germplasm, it might become a strategy for curators to reduce cost for establishing and maintaining ex situ collections since the genetic material is geo-referenced.


GIS:geographical information system

GPS:global positioning system

DGPS:differential global positioning system

DEM:digital elevation model


Rita M. Moraes

National Center for Natural Products Research

Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences

School of Pharmacy

The University of Mississippi


MS 38677


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