Theses and Dissertations



Bi, Guihong

Committee Member

Li, Tongyin

Committee Member

Harkess, Richard L.

Committee Member

Knight, Patricia R.

Committee Member

Reddy, K. Raja

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

Embargo 2 years

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Plant and Soil Sciences (Horticulture)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Salvia miltiorrhiza is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine widely used to prevent and treat cardiovascular and other diseases. With the increasing awareness and use of herbal medicines worldwide, there has been a rapid increase in the use of medicinal plants in the United States. Currently, the majority of medicinal plants used in the US are imported from foreign countries. However, increasing concerns over safety such as heavy metal and chemical contaminations pose significant challenges to US pharmaceutical and related industries in sourcing quality plant materials. It is critical for US industries to have access to high-quality medicinal plants, which provides an opportunity for US farmers to incorporate medicinal plants as an alternative crop. The purpose of this study is to evaluate and identify adaptive cultivars and develop best management practices for Salvia miltiorrhiza production in Mississippi. Salvia miltiorrhiza seeds from different sources were sown and grown in a greenhouse at Mississippi State University (MSU) in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Plants were transplanted into a container or field located at MSU North Farm to evaluate cultivar performance and production practices including different seed sources, fertilization (0, 2, 4, 6, or 8 g N per plant from NH4NO3), planting density (20×30, 20×45, 30×30, 30×45, 40×30, 40×45 cm), and timing of harvest (60, 120, 180 days after transplanting). The data were processed by ANOVA using the PROC GLM procedure. The three seed sources tested in this study (V1, V2, and V3) differed in germination rates, maximum root lengths, and maximum root diameters in both years (2019, 2020). V1 and V2 had higher germination rates than V3. In general, plants treated with 6 or 8 g N per plant and plants planted in 30×45 or 40×45 cm had better performance in shoot growth, root growth, and content of bioactive compounds, including tanshinone I, tanshinone IIA, cryptotanshinone, and salvianolic acid B. Shoot growth, root growth, and content of bioactive compounds increased with increasing days to harvest after transplanting.

Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2026