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Open AccessArticle

A Systematic Study on DNA Barcoding of Medicinally Important Genus Epimedium L. (Berberidaceae)

1
Key Lab of Chinese Medicine Resources Conservation, State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine of the People’s Republic of China, Institute of Medicinal Plant Development, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, Beijing 100193, China
2
College of Pharmacy, Jiangxi University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanchang 330004, China
3
Department of Pharmacy, Guiyang College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guiyang 550002, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(12), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9120637
Received: 27 October 2018 / Revised: 5 December 2018 / Accepted: 10 December 2018 / Published: 17 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue DNA Barcoding and Metabarcoding of Complex Matrices)
Genus Epimedium consists of approximately 50 species in China, and more than half of them possess medicinal properties. The high similarity of species’ morphological characteristics complicates the identification accuracy, leading to potential risks in herbal efficacy and medical safety. In this study, we tested the applicability of four single loci, namely, rbcL, psbA-trnH, internal transcribed spacer (ITS), and ITS2, and their combinations as DNA barcodes to identify 37 Epimedium species on the basis of the analyses, including the success rates of PCR amplifications and sequencing, specific genetic divergence, distance-based method, and character-based method. Among them, character-based method showed the best applicability for identifying Epimedium species. As for the DNA barcodes, psbA-trnH showed the best performance among the four single loci with nine species being correctly differentiated. Moreover, psbA-trnH + ITS and psbA-trnH + ITS + rbcL exhibited the highest identification ability among all the multilocus combinations, and 17 species, of which 12 are medicinally used, could be efficiently discriminated. The DNA barcode data set developed in our study contributes valuable information to Chinese resources of Epimedium. It provides a new means for discrimination of the species within this medicinally important genus, thus guaranteeing correct and safe usage of Herba Epimedii. View Full-Text
Keywords: Epimedium; DNA barcode; identification; super barcode Epimedium; DNA barcode; identification; super barcode
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, M.; Xu, Y.; Ren, L.; He, S.; Pang, X. A Systematic Study on DNA Barcoding of Medicinally Important Genus Epimedium L. (Berberidaceae). Genes 2018, 9, 637.

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