DNA barcoding using its2 and RBCL markers for Solanaceae species identification
Background: The Solanaceae taxonomic family has substantial economic and commercial importance and is mostly used as food, medicine and spices. In Africa, there are several polyploid species of Solanum: Solanum scabrum, Solanum villosum and Solanum nigrum. Previous studies have suggested that there are different subspecies based on morphological characteristics of Solanum nigrum but it is uncertain if these differences are reflected at the genetic level.
Objective: To identify the species taxonomic rank of a member of the Solanaceae that showed therapeutic potential against obesity by altering gut microbiome diversity using morphology and DNA barcodes ITS2 and RBCL.
Methodology: Fresh Solanaceae leaves (isolate-001_kate) were collected from Limuru Sub-County, Kiambu County and identified morphologically. Molecular identification involved DNA extraction, followed by PCR amplification using the primers ITS2 and RBCL at an annealing temperature of 58o C for both primers and sequencing. Phylogenic inference was based on ITS2 and RBCL using maximum likelihood (ML) algorithms.
Results and Conclusion: Morphological data successfully identified the leaves as belonging to Solanaceae but molecular primers ITS2 and RBCL gave further insight that isolate-001_kate was Solanum villosum