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Open AccessArticle

A DNA Barcode-Based RPA Assay (BAR-RPA) for Rapid Identification of the Dry Root of Ficus hirta (Wuzhimaotao)

by 1,†, 2,†, 1, 1 and 1,*
1
School of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Southern Medical University, Guangzhou 510515, China
2
Affiliated Cancer Hospital & Institute of Guangzhou Medical University, Guangzhou 510095, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Molecules 2017, 22(12), 2261; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules22122261
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 14 December 2017 / Accepted: 15 December 2017 / Published: 18 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Medicinal Chemistry)
Background: Wuzhimaotao (the dry root of Ficus hirta) is used as both medicine and food ingredient by the locals in areas around Nanling Mountains of China. Due to its very similar external morphologies with Duanchangcao (the root of Gelsemium elegans, which contains gelsemine that is extremely neurotoxic) and the associated growth of these two plants, incidents of food poisoning and even death frequently occur, resulting from the misuse of Duanchangcao as Wuzhimaotao. The aim of this study is to develop a fast, even, on-spot approach to identification of Wuzhimaotao. Methods: We used DNA barcode-based recombinase polymerase amplification (BAR-RPA) with species–specific primers targeting the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rDNA of F. hirta. BAR-RPA reaction time and temperature were optimized and the specificity and sensitivity of BAR-RPA species–specific primers were assessed. Results: This technique showed a high specificity and sensitivity to amplify the genomic DNA of F. hirta and allowed for rapid amplification (within 15 min) of the ITS region under a constant and mild temperature range of 37–42 °C without using thermocyclers. Conclusions: The BAR-RPA assay with a fast DNA extraction protocol provides a simple, energy-saving, and rapid method for identification of Wuzhimaotao in both laboratory and field settings. View Full-Text
Keywords: DNA barcode-based recombinase polymerase amplification (BAR-RPA); rapid identification; Wuzhimaotao; Duanchangcao DNA barcode-based recombinase polymerase amplification (BAR-RPA); rapid identification; Wuzhimaotao; Duanchangcao
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tian, E.; Liu, Q.; Ye, H.; Li, F.; Chao, Z. A DNA Barcode-Based RPA Assay (BAR-RPA) for Rapid Identification of the Dry Root of Ficus hirta (Wuzhimaotao). Molecules 2017, 22, 2261.

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