Research Article

Molecular identification of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix by using DNA barcoding

Published: June 24, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr8783 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15028783

Abstract

Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix has a long history in China as a commonly used herb that can be used to treat various diseases, including those related to the liver, muscles, bones, and kidneys. Recently, an increase in the number of adulterants has been reported, which affects the clinical safety of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix. To identify adulterants of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix, we collected samples from major regions and conducted an in-depth genetic comparison of the herb and its commonly used adulterants. We amplified and sequenced three genomic regions, internal transcribed spacer (ITS), psbA-trnH, and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), to confirm whether ITS2 is a suitable identifier for Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix. Results showed that the ITS2 sequence length of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix was 199 bp, with no variation between samples. The inter-specific genetic distance of ITS2 between Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix and its adulterants was 0.390. Neighbor-joining trees showed that Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix and its adulterants are easily differentiated by monophyly. In conclusion, ITS2 regions accurately and effectively distinguished between Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix and its adulterants.

Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix has a long history in China as a commonly used herb that can be used to treat various diseases, including those related to the liver, muscles, bones, and kidneys. Recently, an increase in the number of adulterants has been reported, which affects the clinical safety of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix. To identify adulterants of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix, we collected samples from major regions and conducted an in-depth genetic comparison of the herb and its commonly used adulterants. We amplified and sequenced three genomic regions, internal transcribed spacer (ITS), psbA-trnH, and internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2), to confirm whether ITS2 is a suitable identifier for Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix. Results showed that the ITS2 sequence length of Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix was 199 bp, with no variation between samples. The inter-specific genetic distance of ITS2 between Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix and its adulterants was 0.390. Neighbor-joining trees showed that Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix and its adulterants are easily differentiated by monophyly. In conclusion, ITS2 regions accurately and effectively distinguished between Achyranthis Bidentatae Radix and its adulterants.