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Molecules 2014, 19(3), 3718-3730; doi:10.3390/molecules19033718
Article

Discrimination of Dendrobium officinale and Its Common Adulterants by Combination of Normal Light and Fluorescence Microscopy

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Received: 16 January 2014 / Revised: 13 March 2014 / Accepted: 14 March 2014 / Published: 24 March 2014
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Abstract

The stems of Dendrobium officinale Kimura et Migo, named Tie-pi-shi-hu, is one of the most endangered and precious species in China. Because of its various pharmacodynamic effects, D. officinale is widely recognized as a high-quality health food in China and other countries in south and south-east Asia. With the rising interest of D. officinale, its products have a high price due to a limited supply. This high price has led to the proliferation of adulterants in the market. To ensure the safe use of D. officinale, a fast and convenient method combining normal and fluorescence microscopy was applied in the present study to distinguish D. officinale from three commonly used adulterants including Zi-pi-shi-hu (D. devonianum), Shui-cao-shi-hu (D. aphyllum), Guang-jie-shi-hu (D. gratiosissimum). The result demonstrated that D. officinale could be identified by the characteristic “two hat-shaped” vascular bundle sheath observed under the fluorescence microscopy and the distribution of raphides under normal light microscopy. The other three adulterants could be discriminated by the vascular bundle differences and the distribution of raphides under normal light microscopy. This work indicated that combination of normal light and fluorescence microscopy is a fast and efficient technique to scientifically distinguish D. officinale from the commonly confused species.
Keywords: discrimination; Dendrobium officinale; adulterants; normal light microscopy; fluorescence microscopy discrimination; Dendrobium officinale; adulterants; normal light microscopy; fluorescence microscopy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chu, C.; Yin, H.; Xia, L.; Cheng, D.; Yan, J.; Zhu, L. Discrimination of Dendrobium officinale and Its Common Adulterants by Combination of Normal Light and Fluorescence Microscopy. Molecules 2014, 19, 3718-3730.

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