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Title: PlantID – DNA-based identification of multiple medicinal plants in complex mixtures
Authors: Howard, C.
Socratous, Eleni
Williams, S.
Graham, E.
Fowler, M. R.
Scott, N. W.
Bremner, P. D.
Slater, A.
First Published: 28-Jul-2012
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Chinese Medicine 2012, 7 : 18
Abstract: Background: An efficient method for the identification of medicinal plant products is now a priority as the global demand increases. This study aims to develop a DNA-based method for the identification and authentication of plant species that can be implemented in the industry to aid compliance with regulations, based upon the economically important Hypericum perforatum L. (St John’s Wort or Guan ye Lian Qiao). Methods: The ITS regions of several Hypericum species were analysed to identify the most divergent regions and PCR primers were designed to anneal specifically to these regions in the different Hypericum species. Candidate primers were selected such that the amplicon produced by each species-specific reaction differed in size. The use of fluorescently labelled primers enabled these products to be resolved by capillary electrophoresis. Results: Four closely related Hypericum species were detected simultaneously and independently in one reaction. Each species could be identified individually and in any combination. The introduction of three more closely related species to the test had no effect on the results. Highly processed commercial plant material was identified, despite the potential complications of DNA degradation in such samples. Conclusion: This technique can detect the presence of an expected plant material and adulterant materials in one reaction. The method could be simply applied to other medicinal plants and their problem adulterants.
DOI Link: 10.1186/1749-8546-7-18
ISSN: 1749-8546
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2012 Howard et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology

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