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Biol Pharm Bull. 2007 Aug;30(8):1472-6.

DNA sequencing analysis of ITS and 28S rRNA of Poria cocos.

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Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Kanazawa University, Kakuma-cho, Kanazawa 920-1192, Japan.


We determined the DNA sequences of the internal transcribed spacer 1 and 2 (ITS 1 and 2), the 5.8S rRNA gene and most of the 28S rRNA gene of Poria cocos for the first time, and conducted analysis of 20 samples including cultured mycelias and crude drug materials obtained from various localities and markets. Direct sequencing of the ITS 1 and 2 regions of the samples, except for four wild samples, showed that they had identical DNA sequences for ITS 1 and 2 with nucleotide lengths of 997 bps and 460 bps, respectively. By cloning, the four wild samples were found to have combined sequences of common ITS sequences with 1 or 2-base-pair insertions. Altogether both ITS 1 and 2 sequences were substantially longer than those of other fungal crude drugs such as Ganoderma lucidum and Polyporus umbellatus. Thus, Poria cocos could be distinguished from these crude drugs and fakes by comparing the nucleotide length of PCR products of ITS 1 and 2. Contrary to the basic homogeneity in ITS 1 and 2, three types (Group 1, 2, 3) of the 28S rRNA gene with distinctive differences in length and sequence were found. Furthermore, Group 1 could be divided into three subgroups depending on differences at nucleotide position 690. Products with different types of 28S rRNA gene were found in crude drugs from Yunnan and Anhui Provinces as well as the Korean Peninsula, suggesting that the locality of the crude drugs does not guarantee genetic uniformity. The result of DNA typing of Poria cocos may help discrimination of the quality of the crude drug by genotype.

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