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   Location:Home > Research > Research Divisions > CAS Key Laboratory of Tropical Plant Resource and Sustainable Use
Research Group for Cultivation of Medicinal Plants
Author: Cai Chuantao
Update time: 2009-12-18
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Head of the Group: Prof. Cai Chuantao

E-mail: caict@xtbg.ac.cn

Website: http://cmpg.groups.xtbg.cn/


The Cultivation of Medicinal Plants Group, belonging to the Research Center of Economic Plants of Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, was founded in 2005. Our group, led by research associate professor Cai Chuan-tao (Principle Investigator), has four faculties and over 10 graduate students now. 

Focus on the important and endangered medicinal plants in southwest China, our group put weight on discussing the dominant abiotic and biotic factors affecting the production and its underlying eco-physiological mechanisms, revealing the different biosynthesis pathways of effective medicinal components and pharmacological activities, and the processes of introduction and domestication of medicinal plants with high values. Meanwhile, we also study the Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) of important dominant medicinal plants in Yunnan, China. Our group has been granted over 10 patent applications regarding to the cultivation techniques of medicinal plants and published about 40 thesis including 10 pieces of SCI thesis. 

 Gradually our group developed unique research objectives in medicinal plant eco-physiology mechanisms, biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, and GAP management. We look forward to collaboration in training students and scientific research majoring in ecophysiology and phytochemistry with other universities and institutes both at home and abroad. Besides, we welcome researchers all over the world to offer lectures and join us. 



Cai Chuantao (Professor, Principle Investigator) 

Cai Zhiquan (Professor) 

Liu Guizhou (Junior researcher)


Li Lei, He Zhengshan, Rong Lihua, Zeng Yong, Wang Fuyun, Xu Wei, Wang Pei, Zhao Jie, Zhang Wei etc.



1. The high technology program of National Development and Reform Commission: Artificial breeding and demonstration project of Fibraurea recisa, a precious medicinal plant. (2004.12-2008.10)

2. Cooperation project between Yunnan Province and the Chinese Academy of Sciences: Artificial propagation and planting demonstration of Dracaena cochinchinensis, a precious medicine material. (2004.10-2007.12)

3. Cooperation project between Yunnan Province and the Chinese Academy of Sciences: Artificial popagation and planting demonstration of Coptis teeta. (2006.10-2009.9)

4. Comprehensive agriculture industrialization projects of Ministry of Finance: Artificial cultivation of Coptis teeta in Lushui County, Yunnan Province, China. (2006.9-2009.10)

5. Science and technology support project of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Demonstration and popularization of  integrated pest management of Gastrodi elata under semi-wild condition. (2007.10-2010.9)

6. The support program for science and technology of the Ministry of Science and Technology: Ecological protection and Chinese medicinal plants development research and demonstration in Karst Mountainous Region. (2007.6-2010.12)

7. Yunnan Province key technological development projects: Key technologies research about artificial domestication and standardized cultivation of Coptis teeta, a precious and endemic species in Yunnan Province, China. (2007.10-2010.12)

8. National Science Foundation in China (30500065): Lianas and liana-tree interactions in tropical forests in Xishuangbanna, SW China. (2006-2008).

9. West Light Foundation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences: Factors affecting the productivity of the medicinal plant Rauvolfia vomitoria and its underlying ecophysiological mechanisms. (2008-2010)


1. A method for Alstonia scholaris seedling propagation.

2. A method about seed collecting and preservation of Alstonia scholaris.

3. A method for Stephania dolichopoda seedling propagation.

4. An artificial propagation technology for wild Fibraurea recisa.

5. A method about the sustainable utilization of Fibraurea recisa.

6. A method about artificial cultivation and sustainable utilization of Coptis teeta.

7. An artificial propagation technology for Coptis teeta.

8. An artificial propagation technology for Stephania dolichopoda.

9. An artificial propagation technology for Rauvolfia vomitoria.

10. An artificial propagation technology for Dracaena cochinchinensis.


1. Integrated technology popularization about high quality, good and stable yield of Coffea arabica. Puer city advanced technology award (1st prize).

2. Resource investigation, artificial propagation experiment and demonstration of Alstonia scholaris. Yunnan province advanced technology award (3rd prize).

3. Awarded advanced individual for the cooperation between CAS and enterprises during 2006. (2nd prize).

Selected Publications:

1)   Chuan-tao Cai, Zhi-quan Cai, Vegetative growth and photosynthesis in coffee plants under different watering and fertilization management managements in Yunnan, SW China. Photosynthetica, 2007, 45(3): 455-461.

(2)   Chuan-tao Cai, Jin-song Luo, Yun-zhi Nan, Energy and Economic flow of homegardens in Sub-tropical Yunnan , SW China: A case study on Sanjia village. The International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 2004,11(2): 199-204.

(3)   Qishi Song, Darong Yang, et al. Volatiles from Ficus hispida and their attractiveness to fig wasps. Journal of Chemical Ecology, 2001, 27(10):1929-1942.

(4)   Qishi Song, Chongren Yang, et al. Tsaokoin, a new bicyclic nonane from Amomom tsao-ko. Chinese Chemical Letters, 2001, 12(3): 227-230.

(5)   Chun Chen, Qishi Song, Magali Proffit, et al.2009. Private channel: a single unusual compound assures specific pollinator attraction in Ficus semicordata. Functional Ecology, published online first.

(6)   Cai ZQ, Schnitzer SA, Bongers F. Seasonal differences in leaf-level physiology give lianas a competitive advantage over trees in a tropical seasonal forest. Oecologia, 2009, 161:25-33.

(7)   Cai ZQ, Poorter L, Han Q, Bongers F. Effects of light and nutrients on seedlings of tropical Bauhinia lianas and trees. Tree Physiology, 2008, 28:1277-1285.

(8)   Cai ZQ, Poorter L, Cao KF, Bongers F. Seedling growth strategies in Bauhinia species: comparing lianas and trees. Annals of Botany, 2007, 100: 831-838.


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