MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (AP) - Middle Tennessee State University says it has struck an agreement with its research partner in China for a joint ginseng institute.

An MTSU news release Tuesday says the institute will study, develop and promote Tennessee-grown herbal products to sell in Asia and other emerging markets.

MTSU President Sidney McPhee and Miao Jianhua, director of the Guangxi Botanical Garden of Medicinal Plants, signed an agreement during McPhee's trip through China.

The International Ginseng Institute will spin off from the Tennessee Center for Botanical Medicine Research at MTSU. Jianhua says the garden plans to spend about $30 million in August to build a new lab at the Nanning complex.

Ginseng is popular with people who have colds or the flu or who have suppressed immune systems.

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