African Journal of Biotechnology

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Rapid identification of the medicinal plant Taraxacum formosanum and distinguishing of this plant from its adulterants by ribosomal DNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) based DNA barcode

YC Chiang, WT Chang, MD Chen, GH Lai, HJ Chen, J Chao, MK Lin, YS Chang, YM Chou, MS Lee, MS Lee


Original identification of medicinal plants is essential for quality control. In this study, the internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) nuclear ribosomal DNA served as a DNA barcode and was amplified by allele-specific PCR. This approach was exploited to differentiate Taraxacum formosanum from five related adulterants. Using a set of designed PCR primers, a highly specific 223 bp PCR product of T. formosanum was successfully amplified by PCR. However, no similar DNA fragment was amplified from any of the other adulterants. This indicates that, our allele specific primers have high specificity and can accurately discriminate T. formosanum from its adulterant plants.

Key words: Medicinal plant, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), authentication, Taraxacum formosanum, traditional Chinese medicinal, internal transcribed spacers 2 (ITS2).

AJOL African Journals Online