Next Article in Journal
Combination of Superheated Steam with Laccase Pretreatment Together with Size Reduction to Enhance Enzymatic Hydrolysis of Oil Palm Biomass
Next Article in Special Issue
Panax Notoginseng Saponins: A Review of Its Mechanisms of Antidepressant or Anxiolytic Effects and Network Analysis on Phytochemistry and Pharmacology
Previous Article in Journal
VpStyA1/VpStyA2B of Variovorax paradoxus EPS: An Aryl Alkyl Sulfoxidase Rather than a Styrene Epoxidizing Monooxygenase
Previous Article in Special Issue
Antifeedant Activities of Lignans from Stem Bark of Zanthoxylum armatum DC. against Tribolium castaneum
Article Menu
Issue 4 (April) cover image

Export Article

Version is current.

Open AccessArticle
Molecules 2018, 23(4), 810;

Coumarin Content, Morphological Variation, and Molecular Phylogenetics of Melilotus

State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-Ecosystems, Key Laboratory of Grassland Livestock Industry Innovation, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Pastoral Agriculture Science and Technology, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730020, China
Agricultural Technology Extension and Training Center, Agricultural and Animal Husbandry of Zhongwei, Zhongwei 755000, China
AgResearch Ltd., Grasslands Research Center, Palmerston North 11008, New Zealand
PGG Wrightson Seeds, P.O. Box 175, Lincoln, Christchurch 7640, New Zealand
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 28 March 2018 / Published: 2 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Collection Herbal Medicine Research)
Full-Text   |   PDF [5947 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]   |  


Melilotus albus and Melilotus officinalis are widely used in forage production and herbal medicine due to the biological activity of their coumarins, which have many biological and pharmacological activities, including anti-HIV and anti-tumor effects. To comprehensively evaluate M. albus and M. officinalis coumarin content (Cou), morphological variation, and molecular phylogeny, we examined the Cou, five morphological traits and the molecular characterization based on the trnL-F spacer and internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of 93 accessions. Significant (p < 0.05) variation was observed in the Cou and all five morphological traits in both species. Analysis of population differentiation (Pst) of the phenotypic traits showed that powdery mildew resistance (PMR) had the greatest Pst, meaning that this trait demonstrated the largest genetic differentiation among the accessions. The Pst values of dry matter yield (DMY) and Cou were relatively high. Biplot analysis identified accessions with higher DMY and higher and lower Cou. Analysis of molecular sequence variation identified seven haplotypes of the trnL-F spacer and 13 haplotypes of the ITS region. Based on haplotype and sequence analyses, the genetic variation of M. officinalis was higher than that of M. albus. Additionally, ITS sequence analysis showed that the variation among accessions was larger than that among species across three geographical areas: Asia, Europe, and North America. Similarly, variation among accessions for both the trnL-F and ITS sequences were larger than the differences between the geographical areas. Our results indicate that there has been considerable gene flow between the two Melilotus species. Our characterization of Cou and the morphological and genetic variations of these two Melilotus species may provide useful insights into germplasm improvement to enhance DMY and Cou. View Full-Text
Keywords: chloroplast sequence; coumarin; Melilotus; morphological trait; molecular phylogenetics; nuclear ITS chloroplast sequence; coumarin; Melilotus; morphological trait; molecular phylogenetics; nuclear ITS

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, J.; Di, H.; Luo, K.; Jahufer, Z.; Wu, F.; Duan, Z.; Stewart, A.; Yan, Z.; Wang, Y. Coumarin Content, Morphological Variation, and Molecular Phylogenetics of Melilotus. Molecules 2018, 23, 810.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Molecules EISSN 1420-3049 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top