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Molecules 2018, 23(6), 1393; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules23061393

Molecular Identification and Taxonomic Implication of Herbal Species in Genus Corydalis (Papaveraceae)

1
Marine College, Shandong University, Weihai 264209, China
2
College of Pharmacy, Anhui University of Chinese Medicine, Hefei 230012, China
3
Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine Resources Protection and Development, Anhui Academy of Chinese Medicine, Hefei 230012, China
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 May 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 6 June 2018 / Published: 8 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Diversity)
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Abstract

Many species of Corydalis (Papaveraceae) have been used as medicinal plants in East Asia, and the most well-known species are Corydalis yanhusuo and C. decumbens in the Pharmacopoeia of China. However, authentication of these species remains problematic because of their high morphological variation. Here, we selected 14 closely related species and five genomic regions (chloroplast: matK, trnG, rbcL, psbA-trnH; nuclear: ITS) to explore the utility of DNA barcoding for authenticating these herbs. In addition, the Poisson tree process (PTP) and automatic barcode gap discovery (ABGD) were also used and compared with DNA barcoding. Our results showed that the ITS region was not suitable for molecular analysis because of its heterogeneous nature in Corydalis. In contrast, matK was an ideal region for species identification because all species could be resolved when matK was used along with the other three chloroplast regions. We found that at least five traditional identified species were lumped into one genetic species by ABGD and PTP methods; thus, highlighting the overestimation of species diversity using the morphological approach. In conclusion, our first attempt of molecular analysis of Corydalis herbs presented here successfully resolved the identification of medicinal species and encouraged their taxonomic re-assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: Corydalis DC; Corydalis yanhusuo; Corydalis decumbens; DNA barcoding; species identification; traditional Chinese medicine Corydalis DC; Corydalis yanhusuo; Corydalis decumbens; DNA barcoding; species identification; traditional Chinese medicine
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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Jiang, L.; Li, M.; Zhao, F.; Chu, S.; Zha, L.; Xu, T.; Peng, H.; Zhang, W. Molecular Identification and Taxonomic Implication of Herbal Species in Genus Corydalis (Papaveraceae). Molecules 2018, 23, 1393.

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