A collection of cultivated Liriope
plants was established in 1996–1998 and subsequently hosted at a horticultural college. Uncertainties about the identification of the accessions, compounded by potential errors in propagation and labelling have led to waning confidence in the identities of the plants in the collection. The potential for using DNA barcoding to determine the species identities of the accessions was investigated. The DNA barcode regions of the plastid ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase large subunit gene (rbcL
) and nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (nrITS) were amplified. DNA sequence analysis allowed the sequences of the accessions to be compared to reference sequences in public databases. A simple haplotype map of the characteristic polymorphic positions in the rbcL
regions was used to clearly distinguish between the two genera and assign Ophiopogon
accessions to individual species or sub-groups of species. The ITS sequence data confirmed these genus and species assignations and provided greater resolution to distinguish between closely related species. The combination of two DNA barcodes allowed most of the accessions to be assigned to individual species. This molecular verification confirmed the identity of about 70% of the accessions, with the remaining 30% demonstrating a range of mistaken identities at the species and genus levels.
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