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Biomed Chromatogr. 2007 Sep;21(9):967-75.

Association between chemical and genetic variation of Vitex rotundifolia populations from different locations in China: its implication for quality control of medicinal plants.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacognosy, School of Pharmacy, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai 200433, People's Republic of China.


Vitex rotundifolia is a widely distributed plant species that has been extensively used in traditional Chinese medicine. Its fruits, Fructus Viticis, are recorded as Manjingzi in the Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China. For the effective quality control of its medicinal values reflected by chemical variation patterns, in addition to the relationship with genetic diversity, analyses based on high-performance liquid chromatographic (HPLC) fingerprinting and inter simple sequence repeat (ISSR) molecular markers were carried out, involving 14 V. rotundifolia populations from different locations in China. The HPLC data showed considerable variation of chemical constituents among the V. rotundifolia populations. The hierarchical clustering analysis further revealed four major groups based on their chemotype variation. Abundant genetic diversity was detected among the V. rotundifolia populations that also were clustered into four groups based on their ISSR data. It is important to point out that the genetic variation pattern revealed by molecular markers was closely associated with that indicated by chemical constitutes in the fruits of V. rotundifolia. This finding provides a solid basis for the combined use of chemical and genetic fingerprints in efficiently evaluating qualities and choosing favourable chemotypes with appropriate pharmacological properties of V. rotundifolia, in addition to establishing good agricultural practices for medicinal plants.

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